Homelessness is a growing problem throughout the nation, and school-aged children are no exception: over 1.5 million students were identified by their school districts as being homeless during the 2017-2018 school year, a 15% increase over the past year. In New Jersey, the change is even more pronounced with a 27.4% increase between those years. Students who are homeless are less likely to graduate from high school, which can hinder their lifelong economic mobility.
This report, co-authored by JJ Cutuli of Nemours Children’s Health System, Sandra Cintron and John Iko of the Camden City School District, and Aaron Truchil of Camden Coalition, illuminates recent patterns related homelessness among school-aged children in Camden, NJ. The findings include:
- Homelessness among children is an ongoing, growing problem that is also likely to be underreported, especially among charter and renaissance agencies.
- Displacement related to hurricanes, in particular Hurricane Maria, was a major factor in the increase in homelessness in the 2017-2018 school year.
- Homelessness is associated with higher absence rates and lower standardized test scores.