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News & Media

AFC in the News

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

12.03.2020 | Fox 5 New York | AFC poicy director Randi Levine speaks with Fox 5 New York about the more than 111,000 NYC students who experienced homelessness last year. Watch the full interview

12.03.2020 | WNYC | The majority of those students, 73,000, were doubled up with friends or relatives. The rest lived in homeless shelters, according to the non-profit Advocates for Children of New York. Listen to the full interview

12.03.2020 | Inside City Hall | An annual study found that more than 111,000 New York City students are homeless — for the fifth year in a row. The study, which was conducted by Advocates for Children of New York, also shows the highest concentration of homeless students are in parts of the Bronx, upper Manhattan, central Brooklyn, and southeast Queens. AFC says tens of thousands of students were already dealing with the trauma of unstable housing, and the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the problem. 

Randi Levine, AFC’s Policy Coordinator and Childhood Education Project Director, joined NY1's Errol Louis on Thursday night to discuss the challenges homeless students face. Watch the full interview

12.03.2020 | Univision | Un informe revelado por la organización Advocates for Children of New York indica que más de 100,000 alumnos han vivido desamparados por cinco años consecutivos, siendo el 85% hispanos y afroestadounidenses. Ana Sofía Trelles, quien hace parte del colectivo, afirma que “la ciudad no tiene suficientes recursos de viviendas económicas para familias que perdieron su hogar”. Watch video

12.03.2020 | Politico NY | Families and advocacy groups have spoken out in recent months over the lack of adequate internet access in shelters, exposing a major flaw in the city’s plans to educate its sprawling public school system. 

While the number of homeless students in district or charter schools has declined since the prior school year, one in 10 students in New York City remain homeless, the report says. One in six are homeless in the Bronx.

“Learning from home is much harder when you don’t have a permanent home,” Kim Sweet, AFC’s executive director, said in a statement. “As the public health situation evolves, we need to prioritize offering these students the option of getting back into the classroom full-time and providing them with the help they need to make up for lost learning.” Read article

12.03.2020 | City Limits | The number of homeless students in New York City dropped 2 percent last school year but still topped 100,000, according to data released Thursday. 

The New York State Technical and Education Assistance Center for Homeless Students (NYS-TEACHS), which released the information, says that while 32,700 of those homeless students spent time in city shelters, some 73,000 did not. Instead, they and their families found refuge “doubled up” with friends or family–further indication that, as large as it is, the city’s nightly shelter census does not reflect the enormous scale of the homelessness problem. Read article

12.03.2020 | Brooklyn News 12 | Even before the pandemic, students facing homelessness already dealt with many obstacles trying to succeed in school. Advocates for Children of New York is concerned that the pandemic has magnified those disparities. 

"When schools closed, students lost what is a key source of stability for students experiencing homelessness," said Advocates for Children of New York policy director Randi Levine. "Many had difficulty with remote learning, and as a result we're very worried about the learning loss that has occurred." 

They expect these numbers to go up even higher after this school year. Watch video