Statistics show that homelessness is at a high for high school aged students. There are two forms of this epidemic that occur today. First, one can be homeless without a family or any support system. Alternatively, a situation where the parent is not present and the student is obliged to care for a younger sibling can also be considered homelessness. When it comes to schooling, public schools provide educational resources for these individuals. They are able to attend school and have access to transportation. However, housing is an ongoing struggle as schools are not able to fill this void.
Foster care is one housing option. Although, once students reach age 17, they are aging out of the system. Homeless education coordinators and school liaisons in Michigan, such as Beth McCullough, are working to lessen this problem. Now, the schools and communities in need are working together to place homeless children with other families. They are also striving to provide these students with the resources they did not have previously. Host families step up to be mentors to the students they allow to stay with them. They coach them in how to effectively transition into adulthood, where most of them realize higher education is the key to creating a better life.
87% of students who become homeless stop going to school. Here is where community organization step in since often public schools reach funding limits due to transportation expenses. Schools on Wheels is an example of an organization that steps in to assist homeless students. They help them prepare for the SATs, complete high school, and understand how financial aid works for attending college. After accepted and send to college, Schools on Wheels will even be there to help students move into dorm rooms. More than just an organization, this program becomes the family support that was missing for these young adults.
For more information on homeless students and education visit U.S. News here: http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/high-school-notes/2014/09/29/homeless-high-schoolers-face-barriers-to-education