According to data released Wednesday by the nonprofit Advocates for Children of New York, homelessness among New York City public school students during the 2021-2022 school year increased from 101,000 to 104,000 compared to the 2020-2021 school year. This 3.3% increase happened despite total enrollment in the district falling by 3.2% in that time. Where those homeless students lived breaks down as follows:
- 29,000+ spent time living in shelters.
- 69,000 temporarily lived at someone else’s home.
- Nearly 5,500 were unsheltered.
The nonprofit said last school year is the seventh consecutive year where New York City student homelessness topped 100,000. That 100,000 accounts for roughly 10% of the district’s total enrollment.
“If these 100,000 children made up their own school district, it would be a district larger than 99.5% of all other districts nationwide,” Advocates for Children of New York Executive Director Kim Sweet said in a statement. “While the City works to address the underlying issue of homelessness, we also must ensure that students who are homeless get to class every day and receive the targeted supports they need to succeed in school.”
The nonprofit added “the total number of students in temporary housing has likely climbed even further in recent months with the increased number of migrant families seeking asylum arriving in New York City.” Some of those migrants are coming on buses from Republican-led border states, with New York City officials recently opening up a temporary center to house some of those migrants.
“The DOE needs to ensure the new migrant students entering the shelter system are enrolled in schools that can meet their needs, while not losing sight of the longstanding issues facing the tens of thousands of students who were already homeless,” Jennifer Pringle, the director of Advocates for Children’s Learners in Temporary Housing Project, said in a statement.