Student homelessness in the US

A new report by the National Center for Homeless Education has found that the  number of homeless students in the US is the highest in over a decade.

The most recent data, recorded in 2017-18, shows that the figure of 680,000 homeless students reported in 2004-05 had more than doubled. The research measures the number of children in schools who report being homeless at some point during an academic year and as such does not show the total population of homeless young people in the US.

 The main suspects are insufficient income, unaffordable housing, domestic violence and, recently, the opioid crisis. 

       – Homelessness in the US is usually linked to the national housing crisis.   Millions of people spend more than half their income on housing, and many report that they understandably cannot afford to buy a house. Increasing rents and a housing shortage have forced thousands of people in California, for instance,  to live in caravans or inadequate housing.

       – Then there is the changing economy, with factories closing down, and the rise of the insecure, dire gig economy, which leaves parents and their children unable to pay for a roof over their heads. 

         – Thirdly, the opioid crisis (almost 2 million people are addicted to prescription drugs) has also caused some families to break up or children to be removed from their homes.

         –  A disproportionate number of homeless youth are LGBT, according to the University of California Williams Institute.  Nearly seven in 10 said that family rejection was a major cause of becoming homeless. Abuse at home is  another major problem .

And believe it or not, in a rich, advanced country, less than a third of homeless students were able to read adequately,  and scored even lower in mathematics and science.  

My take:   1,300.000 (approximately) homeless young people!   Can this be true?  How can society allow young people, inadequately educated, to be thrown onto the street?  I wonder at the dreadful level of education outside the cozy corner of elite schools in any case.  There is a scary lack of general knowledge which one encounters all too often. But not being able to read properly!  Did I read that correctly?  No wonder you find young men ( especially) looting shops when they get the opportunity.  They need the goods. We should hide our heads in shame.

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