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Thousands of SF public-school students are homeless | Other News | San Francisco | San Francisco Examiner


This is so shameful and heartbreaking. In a city with some of the highest rent and incomes in the country, but the rich techies have spent the past fifteen years GUTTING public spending and nonprofits, like kickstarter is a valid nonprofit model.

Most students spend a lot of time worrying about grades, athletics, social circles and the future. But in San Francisco, there are more than 2,000 kids who have another big worry on their minds: homelessness.

Nationwide, the number of homeless students in public schools has increased 85 percent since the Great Recession, according to data released last month by the U.S. Department of Education.

There were 1.26 million homeless students enrolled in preschools and K-12 schools in the 2012-13 academic year, an 8 percent increase from the previous year.

In San Francisco’s public schools, the homeless student population nearly tripled during the past 10 years: 844 in the 2004-05 school year compared to last school year’s 2,352, according to data from the San Francisco Unified School District. For the past five school years, more than 2,000 students were registered as homeless, including this year’s count of 2,094.

As of October 2013, there were 53,270 total students enrolled in the SFUSD.

"It’s gotten acutely worse since the recession," said Jeff Kositsky, executive director of the Hamilton Family Center, a nonprofit providing emergency shelter and services for homeless families.

"I think that San Francisco has been a little bit behind the curve," he said in terms of addressing the problem.

The lack of family housing, including below-market-rate units and those with supportive services, coupled with the escalation of housing costs in San Francisco and the Bay Area in general have exacerbated the challenges and placed a focus on new strategies such as greater investment in eviction prevention and what’s known as rapid rehousing, which is a temporary rental subsidy program.

One reason why San Francisco families are left out in the cold is the lack of shelter space and the monthslong wait to get into longer-term shelters.

San Francisco has a centralized waitlist for homeless families to have long-term shelter stays of up to six months, during which time they work on securing permanent housing and address other challenges that led to their homelessness.

In the meantime, families can stay at overnight emergency family shelters, but those facilities have started to reach capacity and turn families away. And that means the families “patchwork anything together,” such as sleeping in cars, hotel rooms or with friends, said Elizabeth Ancker, a program director for Compass Connecting Point, a nonprofit that manages the centralized list.

(via nethilia)