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.
The Homeless Children and Youth Act (HCYA, H.R.5221) was reintroduced by U.S. Representatives Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ-11,) Bill Posey (R-FL-08), Delia Ramirez (D-IL-03), and Don Bacon (R-NE-02), and co-sponsored by Pennsylvanians Evans (Phila), Boyle (Phila), Scanlon (Delaware), Dean (Montgomery), and Fitzpatrick (Bucks).
A positive step forward for families experiencing homelessness would be a unification of the federal definition of who is homeless and who is not. The Homeless Children and Youth Act would unify the definition, qualifying thousands of families and children for housing supports.
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.
How COVID-19 Affected the Identification of Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness in Pennsylvania
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