Report Reveals Increase In Homelessness Among Students In Pennsylvania – CBS Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2021-02-22 23:39:31 –

Created by: Jessica Guay from KDKA-TV

Pittsburgh (KDKA) —A new report shows an increase in student homelessness across Pennsylvania.

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The biggest concern is that it may only get worse due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pittsburgh homeless shelters are already feeling this effect.

Anna Shaw-Amoah, Philadelphia’s Policy Associate for Research Actions, said:

A new report by Research for Action found that more than 31,000 or 1.8% of preschool-to-high school students in the state experienced homelessness in 2018-19. It also shows that schools in Pennsylvania underestimate the number of students facing homelessness.

(Photo provider: KDKA)

Pandemics and virtual learning can make it even more difficult for schools to track.

“This means that schools within the Pennsylvania Department of Education have not identified students living in temporary housing and provided the necessary support,” says Shaw-Amoah.

Bethlehem Haven in Pittsburgh provides shelter and support services for homeless women. Secretary-General Annette Fetchko says homelessness of all ages is on the rise in Pittsburgh.

“What we have experienced here in Bethlehem is that, in fact, the entire population of women experiencing homelessness is increasing across the gender spectrum. Many of them are new to themselves. It’s very traumatic, “Fetchko said.

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The biggest rise seen in the city is for women over the age of 50 who have lost their jobs. These uncertain times can push more families with children to the point where it is difficult to achieve their goals.

There are concerns about how the homeless will affect the education and future of children.

“If you were homeless as a kid, you may experience it as you get older,” says Fetchko.

Shaw-Amoah and Fetchko believe there is a way to help.

“The state needs to pay attention and money to support LEA in identifying students experiencing homelessness and fulfilling their obligation to provide educational services,” said Shaw-Amoah. ..

“Access to mental health support and counseling services gives us real-time support,” says Fetchko.

Research for Action announces additional research on homelessness in Allegheny County. Pittsburgh’s identification rate for student homeless is 14 out of 100.

Shaw-Amoah said this was close to the national average, more than three times higher than Philadelphia.

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You can check the full report here.

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