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: Counts of Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness in Pennsylvania by County
New reports from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) show that in School Year (SY) 2021-2022, 40,003 children and youth were identified as homeless throughout the Commonwealth, an all-time high. This paper summarizes the PDE data, which they have sorted by county and region.
HopePHL works to inform practitioners and policy makers about children and youth experiencing homelessness in Pennsylvania.
HopePHL’s series called the “Children Cannot Wait Campaign” (see https://bit.ly/3qAQGIX) aims to increase awareness of children and youth experiencing homelessness. Part 1 explored the data for Pennsylvania; Part 2 explored the data for Philadelphia; and Part 3 examines homelessness in Pennsylvania by county.
Some of the families in HopePHL’s emergency housing today are struggling to find childcare in order to participate in programs and employment. This is one reason why we have joined numerous coalitions to fight for more funding for childcare. The advocate group Children First has permitted us to include a recent email informing the public on how the state budget woes affect childcare.
“The political waters in Harrisburg over the budget are rockier than wave surfing on the Jersey shore. But some sectors are experiencing a hardcore wipeout.
Fortunately, families receiving the childcare subsidy can keep their heads (just) above water through the budget impasse. The state government will continue to fund childcare subsidy payments so parents and providers won’t take a hit. Plus, the child care subsidy was the only early learning program to get any additional funds – $100 million – to fill the loss of federal dollars.
However, providers who serve children through the state’s publicly funded pre-k and Head Start programs are not protected from the crashing waves. The state will suspend those payments, forcing these small business owners with already razor-thin budget margins to take out loans to keep them afloat. And with today’s exorbitant interest rates, many providers will be financially underwater quickly. This could have dire consequences for children.
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.
A family’s homelessness can be prolonged for longer periods of time by a lack of childcare.
HopePHL’s Building Early Links for Learning (BELL) project works to help parents and homeless housing provider agencies find high-quality childcare, navigate through applications, and much more. However, the COVID-19 pandemic reduced the number of available early learning programs. Numerous efforts at the national, state, and local level are working to get the early learning system back to pre-COVID levels, but long-term systemic problems like low staff wages, inadequate number of subsidies, and a lack of infant/toddler childcare hinder the system’s recovery.
The Federal Reserve’s Early Care and Education Work Group has produced a series of reports on the status of childcare as it relates to its mission of sustainable employment. This paper is a summary of its most recent report, which can be found here.
Who should read this paper: HopePHL is summarizing the report for the homeless housing system, other human service systems and policy makers because the availability of childcare affects all industries. In addition, there are numerous advisory councils and coalitions preparing early childhood education (ECE) policy work to offer to Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro, the Pennsylvania General Assembly, Philadelphia’s future Mayor, and current and future City Council members. Information in this paper serves to add to the body of knowledge about ECE to a non-ECE audience.
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