Phoenix  June 16, 2016   A major new report from a non-partisan research agency shows the number of public school students who are homeless has been rising since 2006, and now stands at approximately 1.3 million.

The report, by Washington DC-based Civic Enterprises, written in conjunction with Hart Research Associates and released by the GradNation campaign, found more than 70% of hundreds of homeless students surveyed across the country felt that homelessness affected their ability to feel secure or safe, had a deleterious effect on their mental health and had been a “significant negative” to their overall quality of life  Homeless students rate as one of the lowest graduating student populations in the nation: 42% say the dropped out of school at least once.

“This kind of data is important to show policymakers and the community the scope of the issue and how to help students deal with homelessness and complete their high school education, which is fundamental to adult success,” said Cynthia Schuler, Tumbleweed Chief Executive Officer. “I hope as many people as possible see the outcomes and recognize that supporting homeless students requires a sustained, community-wide effort, including broader awareness, elimination of social stigma and a broad network of emotional support for each young person.”

Homeless public school students hesitant to share, lack emotional support according to new national report.

Homeless public school students hesitant to share, need emotional support according to new national report.

Some key survey results:

  • 50% say they slept in a car, park, abandoned building, bus station or other public place.
  • 67% (approx. two-thirds) say they were uncomfortable talking with people at their school about their housing situation and related challenges.
  • 54% say concrete supports (housing, food, transportation) and emotional supports are equally important.
  • 78% say homelessness was something they experienced more than once.
  • 61% say they were never connected with any outside organization for support while homeless.

More information about “Hidden in Plain Sight: Homeless Students in America’s Public Schools” including a link to the entire report, can be found here:  http://prn.to/1sIpF2S