Skip to Content

  • AFC in the News
  • Funding set to expire for coordinators who help NYC’s homeless children

    Apr 5, 2024


    NYN Media – A new brief from Advocates for Children released Thursday morning highlights the crucial services the city’s 100 shelter-based community coordinators have been providing since the initiative began last school year. Unlike other shelter staff who help families find permanent housing and access public benefits, these coordinators exclusively focus on meeting the educational needs of children. Combating chronic absenteeism – something students living in temporary housing are particularly prone to – finding appropriate educational programs, securing transportation and helping new migrant arrivals enroll in and navigate a new school system have been some of the ways these individuals have helped families.

    “It is unthinkable that funding for shelter-based community coordinators is in jeopardy at a time of such tremendous need,” Jennifer Pringle, director of Advocate For Children’s Learners in Temporary Housing project, said in a statement. “The (shelter-based community coordinators) have provided students and families with life-changing support, and the city urgently needs to identify a new funding source to ensure the continuity of their work.”

    The latest data only brings the shelter-based coordinators’ importance into sharper focus. In New York City public schools, 1 in 9 students experienced homelessness during the 2022-23 school year – a record-high of 119,320 children even as overall enrollment declined. While 61% of those students were living “doubled up” in shared housing, 34% – more than 40,800 – spent time in the shelter system.

    The city hired 100 shelter-based community coordinators last school year as thousands of migrant families arrived in the city, but the positions were created with temporary funding. Twenty-five positions were created using city money, while the other 75 posts came from federal stimulus funds, which are expiring soon.