As the new school year starts, teachers face many challenges. So do children who are dealing with homelessness and poverty. And this couldn’t be truer than for impoverished children who are also in need of special education services. Adults who work with children in poverty and homelessness need to understand how this environment influences academic skill and emotional development, and how it relates to special education needs. That's why we're launching this series by Perry Firth on how homelessness and poverty affect the development of children, and how this can show up in the education system.
More than 30,000 schoolchildren in Washington state are experiencing homelessness. In a heart-wrenching story that aired on NPR this morning, one of these students, Erika, talks about the challenges of attending high school while living in a car with her family.
As many as 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ, and oftentimes they end up trapped in a cycle of abuse, poverty, and street life that lasts well into adulthood. Guest blogger Sarah Bartlett illuminates some of the struggles with poverty and homelessness that many members of the LGBTQ community experience.
Seattle University's Film & Family Homelessness Project worked with six Seattle-area filmmakers to produce four beautiful animated films revealing different aspects of living with poverty and homelessness. The stories were informed by families who have first-hand experience with these challenges. Developing these films was a learning process for the filmmakers, and we invited them to share lessons they came away with. Read their reflections and watch the American Refugees films.
We have a winner for our Spark Change Essay Contest! Shorecrest High School student Hannah Cheung challenges stereotypes surrounding homelessness, explores some factors that contribute to homelessness, and calls on you to help raise awareness.