There Are More Homeless Students Now Than Before The Recession

New data suggests the situation is increasingly dire.

On a national level, it seems that economically at least, we're climbing out of The Great Recession, which experts say lasted from 2007 to about 2009. But new federal data suggests that the recovery has been very uneven, and, in fact, young people are among the groups struggling the most.

In the 2013-2014 school year, the number of homeless children in public school reached a new peak of 1.36 million nationwide. That's double the number of homeless kids in public schools before the recession.

According to The Washington Post, the new numbers mark "an 8 percent increase over the 2012-2013 school year...[which] is a sign that many families continue to struggle financially even as the economy recovers from the housing collapse of 2008."

homeless data

"One of the things we note during recessions is that young families and kids tend to be the ones who go into poverty first, almost like a canary in a coal mine," Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus Campaign for Children, told The Post. "But also in the back end, kids are the last to recover. Because this recession was because of housing, it’s been particularly bad for kids."

Though public schools receive funds that would help homeless students find the resources they need, the money isn't enough to fulfill an increasing need. That's why in many cases, teachers are doing more than just teaching kids -- they're clothing, feeding and even counseling them through "stress and trauma."

"The thing about kids who have really troublesome home lives -- not just with homelessness but other things, too -- is that they have this defeated look on their faces, because they’re trying, and it’s not working," said Sonya Shpilyuk, an English teacher at Watkins Mill High School in Maryland’s Montgomery County. "They’re tired, and they’re hungry, and it’s stressful because they don’t know where they’re going after school."

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