New York City is experiencing the greatest homelessness epidemic since the Great Depression of the 1930s

At the end of New York City’s 2015 Fiscal Year, over 42,000 different homeless children slept in NYC’s municipal shelter system, including.

As of the end of the first quarter of 2016, over 14,600 families with 23,400 children slept in the New York City municipal shelter system every night. 

The primary cause of homelessness, particularly for families, is lack of affordable housing. 

Other causes are: loss of a job, lowered wages, health crisis, increased rent, eviction, domestic violence, poor housing conditions, family emergency and landlord bullying.

No matter the cause the common thread among the homeless is a lack of sufficient financial resources to obtain or maintain housing.

80% of homeless mothers with children previously experienced domestic violence. 

According to the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness, during the 2013-2014 school year homeless elementary children were chronically absent at almost twice the overall citywide rate – 36% compared to 19%. 

This resulted in homeless elementary children missing an average of four weeks of school – a week and a half more than low-income housed students and two weeks more than non low-income housed students.

Chronic absenteeism is higher for homeless elementary students living in shelters than for those living with another family or other person due to loss of housing or economic hardship – 58% compared to 25% for school year 2013-2014.

Chronically absent homeless children are over three times more likely to repeat the same grade as homeless children who missed fewer than five days of school.

Chronically absent homeless elementary students are also less likely to pass State assessment tests than homeless elementary children who miss few fewer than five days of school – 12% compared to 38%. 

Homeless elementary students who miss fewer than five days of school pass the State assessment tests at essentially the same rate as low-income housed students – 38% compared to 37%.

“Children without a home are more vulnerable to serious medical problems and are in poor health twice as often as other children. 47% of homeless children have anxiety, depression, or withdrawal problems.” – The National Center for Family Homelessness

“87% of homeless children worry that something bad will happen to their families.” - The National Center for Family Homelessness

A stable home life improves a homeless adult’s and family’s overall mental, emotional, physical and financial outcome as well as educational achievement for homeless children.