School Districts across the state identified 40,000 homeless children and youth in Fiscal Year 2022, enough to fill most every seat at Citizens Bank Park. The Philadelphia School District identified its highest number of children and youth experiencing homelessness – 8,383 in 2022! This is a 7% increase from 2019 and a 94% increase since 2014.
Thankfully, the federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) provided $36 million to the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s ‘Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness’ (ECYEH) program, which subcontracted more than $3 million to the School District of Philadelphia (SDP). SDP expanded its capacity to provide staffing to train school personnel in 300 public district and charter schools and provide direct services like uniforms, transportation, mentoring, summer programming, school supplies, and more.
PA Head Start and HopePHL Release “A State-Level Brief: Participation of Infants and Toddlers Experiencing Homelessness in Early Childhood Programs in Pennsylvania”
This brief builds on the earlier "A State-Level Brief: Participation of Young Children Experiencing Homelessness in Early Childhood Programs in Pennsylvania" (PA Head Start State Collaboration Office, January 2022) and provides a more focused examination of the experience of homelessness for infants and toddlers and their participation in early childhood programs. One is more likely to be in a shelter as an infant or toddler than at any other age.
Key findings include:
HopePHL has summarized homeless education reports from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the School District of Philadelphia to draw attention to critical needs. Our summary is meant to inform practitioners and policymakers about children and youth experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia.
HopePHL is continuing its series called the “Children Cannot Wait Campaign” (see https://bit.ly/3qAQGIX). The report offered today is Part 2; it explores the data specifically on Philadelphia. Last month’s newsletter delivered Part 1, showing data for Pennsylvania. Part 3 will come next month and look at homelessness by county.
By Sarah Vrabic, Project Manager, Everyday Learning Play Spaces
As the Everyday Learning Play Spaces team is busy constructing play kitchens, painting chalkboard walls, and meeting with families to design interactive murals, we are thrilled to simultaneously benefit from the generosity of a new partnership with Barbershop Books!
Barbershop Books aims to expand reading opportunities for young Black children, particularly Black boys, by bringing books with protagonists of color into everyday spaces. Our team became acquainted with the Barbershop books team through another one of our partners, Read by 4th. We realized we had similar missions and a shared goal of enhancing young children's everyday environments so they inspire reading and learning through play for the entire family.
Children Cannot Wait: Highest number of Children and Youth Identified as Homeless in Pennsylvania – 40,003!
A new report from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) shows that in School Year (SY) 2021-2022 there were 40,003 children and youth were identified as homeless throughout the Commonwealth, an all-time high.
HopePHL has summarized this report to inform practitioners and policy makers about children and youth experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia.
With this Policy Brief we continue HopePHL’s series called the “Children Cannot Wait Campaign” (see https://bit.ly/3qAQGIX). Part 1 of our exploration of the data offered by PDE will focus on Pennsylvania; Part 2 will focus on the data specific to Philadelphia; and Part 3 will look at homelessness by school district.
by Laurie Amado, Behavioral Specialist
This quarter we have been doing a therapeutic group for children living in HopePHL housing, called "Kids Care." One of the most memorable moments in this group was when one little boy’s mother came to me and said, “This is the first time that my son (who is on the autism spectrum) has made a friend who is not autistic.”
The group has allowed two boys to connect, who otherwise may not even be in the same spaces, since one goes to a school specifically for children on the autism spectrum. This has also done a lot for his self-esteem. For the other boy, this interaction may have broken down some stigmas around others who may be “different." This is really what this group is about- building connection and care between children, who will hopefully also take that to other spaces they are in.
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