Tell California Leaders to Ensure 300,000 Homeless Kids Have Their Material Needs Met!
There are nearly 300,000 children identified as homeless in California public schools each year. Among many challenges, these students struggle to obtain the most basic necessities such as socks, underwear, hygiene supplies, school supplies, and other materials needed for social development, educational success, and overall well-being.
K to College is building a statewide supply bank, similar to a food bank, as a sustainable nonprofit solution to efficiently and systematically provide basic material needs assistance to all homeless and other under-resourced kids. This collaborative project involves manufacturers, several public agencies, corporate partners and more than 200 school districts and county offices of education.
Number of Identified Homeless Children & Youth in California by School-Year
The article below was written by SFGate Reporter Heather Knight. The full article is also available on the SFGate.com website.
The sheer number of kids in California who have nowhere to call home and the failure of the state’s leaders to address the growing crisis place it 48th among the 50 states for dealing with children’s homelessness — ranking it just above Mississippi and Alabama.
Those are the findings of a report released Monday by the National Center on Family Homelessness, part of the larger nonprofit American Institutes for Research, which conducts social science research. It found that nationwide, 2.5 million children — one in 30 — do not have a stable place to sleep at night.
During the 2012-2013 school year, nearly 270,000 children and youth were identified as homeless according to data recently released by the California Department of Education (CDE).
The 269,663 homeless students enrolled in California K-12 schools for the 2012-2013 school year is the highest number on record, and an eight percent increase over the previous school year. The CDE identifies homeless students according to the United States McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (the Act). A federal law intended to ensure immediate enrollment and educational stability for homeless children and youth, the Act includes all circumstances in the Housing and Urban Development definition, but also includes families who are “doubled up.” Examples of this include but are not limited to those living in a garage, multiple families living in one apartment, and “couch surfing”. Even with the extended population included in the McKinney-Vento count, experts in the field believe the number of homeless children in California is undercounted.
Officially recognized by Congress on July 11, 2007, November is National Homeless Youth Awareness Month. Nowhere is this awareness needed more than in California.
According to the most recently available data from the California Department of Education, there are approximately 250,000 pre-K to 12th grade homeless school-aged children in our state, as defined the U.S. McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. Los Angeles County alone has more than 60,000 homeless children, a total greater than every other state except for Texas, and just barely. Homeless children are not limited to our urban cores, as there are more than 10,000 in California’s rural counties to the north, more than 50,000 in the Inland Empire, and thousands more in the Central Valley.
With a goal to reach 7,000,000 households throughout the northern and central parts of the state, Kaiser Permanente and Target have partnered with Comcast SportsNet to raise awareness of K to College’s effort to provide all low-income students with the materials they need to be successful. Airing during various sporting events and other broadcasts, the spots feature San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Richard Carranza in a classroom library. The campaign also reaches the public online at csnbayarea.com and csncalifornia.com.
In an effort to address the growing problem of providing our state’s most disadvantaged students with the basic, yet critical instructional materials they need to succeed, K to College sponsored Senate Bill 1571 to establish the School Supplies for Homeless Children Fund. Authored by State Senator Mark DeSaulnier and supported by the California Teachers Association (CTA) and California State PTA, Senate Bill 1571 allows individuals to make contributions to the Fund on their personal state income tax returns. The Governor signed the bill in September of 2012.
We are excited to announce that we recently formed a promotional partnership with KICU TV36 and KTVU.com. With a long-standing commitment to the Bay Area community and the power of media, TV36 and KTVU.com are teaming up to encourage Bay Area residents to Give $22, the cost for us to provide a local needy student with $65 of school supplies and a dental kit.
Together we can ensure children & families receive the basic materials they need.
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