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AFC in the News

01.01.2021 | Medium | Dawn Yuster and her organization, Advocates for Children of New York, are calling for a mental health continuum to be established in schools with high rates of child-in-crisis cases. This model was developed by the Mayor’s Leadership Team on School Climate in 2016, who urged the city to adopt it. Last year, the City Council and other advocacy groups recommended it for high-needs schools but there was not enough money in the budget to adopt it. 

This model includes a team of clinicians working with students and school staff to determine the appropriate level of care. It helps to coordinate with schools to respond to students in crisis while working to enhance each school’s capacity to respond to students’ mental health needs. Read article

12.10.2020 | Chalkbeat NY | “This is a plan to address some of the problems with remote learning, which is important, but it’s not a plan for education recovery,” said Kim Sweet who heads Advocates for Children, which spearheaded the class-action suit. “The city needs a systemic approach for targeting evidence-based support and resources to the students who most need it, including a system for providing the make-up services students with disabilities have a legal right to receive.” Read article

12.04.2020 | City & State | In the last school year, more than 111,000 New York City students experienced homelessness – including nearly 33,000 who lived in city shelters and roughly 73,000 who “doubled up” in temporary housing situations, according to a new report from the education nonprofit Advocates for Children of New York. And even before the pandemic, those students – 85% of whom are Black or Hispanic – faced obstacles to education. Read article

12.04.2020 | NY1 | “Before the pandemic, only 29% of students who are homeless were reading on grade level, and outcomes are even worse for students who are in shelter,” said Randi Levine, the policy director of Advocates for Children. "So we’re extremely concerned about the learning loss that is happening now."

Heaven and Jordan have been learning remotely during the coronavirus pandemic. Until this week, they were living in a shelter on Staten Island -- far from their school in the Bronx. With the help of Advocates for Children, they were moved to a different shelter in the Bronx. Watch video

12.04.2020 | The Imprint | “The vast scale of student homelessness in New York City demands urgent attention,” said Kim Sweet, executive director of Advocates for Children, in a news release. “If these children comprised their own city, it would be larger than Albany, and their numbers may skyrocket even further after the state eviction moratorium is lifted, the city must act now to put more support in place for students who are homeless.” Read article

12.04.2020 | The 74 | Advocates say the real number is probably higher, given how difficult COVID-19 has made it for administrators to assess student housing arrangements. 

The figure is also likely to increase following the expected lifting of a statewide eviction moratorium at the end of this year. That temporary prohibition, along with the one from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only protects residents from losing their homes if they can prove in court that they’ve been economically harmed by COVID-19. Both safeguards are set to expire in 2021. Read article

12.03.2020 | NY1 | More than 110,000 New York City students are homeless — either living in shelters or in unstable, temporary housing arrangements, a new report from the organization Advocates for Children says. 

It’s the fifth year in a row the number has topped 100,000, and the figure means that one in ten children in city public schools is homeless. Read article

12.03.2020 | NY Daily News | “The vast scale of student homelessness in New York City demands urgent attention,” said Kim Sweet, Executive Director of Advocates for Children, the group that compiled the findings based on data from the state Education Department. 

“If these children comprised their own city, it would be larger than Albany ... The city must act now to put more support in place for students who are homeless,” she added. Read article

12.03.2020 | Queens Daily Eagle | AFC urged the city to establish universal WiFi in homeless shelters, to distribute web-enabled devices like iPads to every student in need and to enable students to run to school buildings — something elementary school kids can do next week. 

“Learning from home is much harder when you don’t have a permanent home,” said Kim Sweet. “The city must ensure that every student who is homeless has the technology and support they need during this period of remote and hybrid learning.”  Read article

12.03.2020 | WCBS 880 | “If students who are homeless in New York City comprised their own school district, it would be one of the 30 largest school districts in the entire nation,” says Randi Levine, the group’s policy director. 

The problem is most prominent in the Bronx, where the group says one in six students are homeless. Advocates for Children says the pandemic shutting down the public school system hits those children especially hard. “It's incredibly challenging,” Levine says. Listen to the full interview