The number of children and youths experiencing homelessness is increasing. There were 11,772 reported cases of homelessness by Sacramento County School Districts during the 2011-12 year, including 1,368 identified infants/toddlers and preschool children.
The national Center on Family Homelessness reports that 85% of children and youth in homeless situations regularly attend school. Of the (homeless) elementary students, only 22% are proficient in math and 24% in reading. Among the high school students identified as homeless, 11% are proficient in math and 15% in reading. This is especially concerning for Sacramento County’s schools, which reported 10,404 students who experienced homelessness in 2011-12, representing 4% of the student population.
Why is this important?
- Homelessness can negatively impact every aspect of the child's life from family stability to physical and mental health to academic performance.
- Even family stability is threatened, as shelter availability or restrictions may cause families to be temporarily separated.
- On average, these students have much worse academic outcomes, and subsequent life outcomes, than children with stable households.
How are we doing?
- The number of students reported as homeless in Sacramento County schools has increased by more than 117% between the 2005-06 and 2011-12 school years.
- Of the 11,772 children reported in 2011-12, there were 1,368 (12%) infant/toddlers or preschool level children; 6,285 (53%) enrolled in elementary school and 4,119 (35%) enrolled in middle or high school.
Data Source: Sacramento County Office of Education, Project TEACH