Advocates call on Adams administration to improve learning conditions for homeless youth

Remote learning
Remote learning
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Remote learning

Advocates call on Adams administration to improve learning conditions for homeless youth

Thousands of NYC public school students were without a home last year, causing interruptions to their learning.
November 12, 2021

Last year, as COVID-19 devastated communities across the country, homeless New York City public school students were especially vulnerable as switching to remote learning became a bust. Although New York City’s Department of Education handed out free iPads to ensure students were able to access remote learning, connecting to the city’s free WiFi became a problem. Homeless shelters suffered from little to no connection, making it difficult for students to log onto their classes. What’s more, students facing housing insecurity were also faced with a lack of designated spaces that would allow them to study or focus on being in class.

With more than 101,000 public school students suffering from housing insecurity, advocates are calling on the Adams administration to prioritize hiring 150 new shelter employees that will help create solutions to homeless youth being unable to obtain proper education.

Advocates for Children, an organization that provides free legal and advocacy services to protect the rights of children, said that the number of homeless youth could actually be higher than what was reported since it was difficult to track students’ housing situations during the pandemic. 

While New York has moved back to in-person education, the pandemic has caused severe challenges for students, including mental health and academic challenges. With chronic absenteeism and transportation issues during the pandemic, homeless youth have struggled to catch up with their schoolwork.

Advocates for Children expects the additional shelter staffing can help, as well as provide much-needed support to their families. Advocates also recommend that city agencies come together to address the problems preventing homeless children from learning.

Angelique Molina-Mangaroo
previously founded and was executive director of The Wealthy Youth Project, a financial literacy organization interested in addressing issues faced by women and girls of color. She also was a reporter for the Hunts Point Express in the Bronx, served as a Young Women’s Advisory Council Member on the New York City Council, and has worked with several nonprofit organizations, among them Planned Parenthood of New York City and the Legal Aid Society.
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