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November is National Homeless Youth Awareness Month

November is recognized nationally as "National Homeless Youth Awareness Month” to educate the public about children and youth experiencing homelessness. Each year more than 1.6 million children are homeless at some point in their lives and the number is increasing (The National Center on Family Homelessness). Last year, Wake County Public Schools identified 4,365 children and youth in transition (ie, homeless). The McKinney-Vento Program is a federal program in our district providing services that include school stability and immediate enrollment to improve academic success among students experiencing homelessness.
School and district staff are key to identifying students experiencing homelessness as defined by the federal law. The federal definition of homeless is any student in a temporary living situation due to hardship and includes families that live with others (ie., doubled up) or in hotels. School Social Workers and SAP Counselors are the school contacts for identifying, initiating services and supporting students in transition. For more information, visit the McKinney-Vento site. If you have any questions, please contact your School Social Worker or SAP Counselor.
2018-2019 Data:
  • 4,365 WCPSS students were identified as experiencing homelessness (60% increase since 2014-15 SY)
  • 258 students were assessed or involved in one of the following: Suicide, Self-Injury, Threat, Crisis, CPS.
  • Youth Behavior Risk Survey (YRBS) data found that high school students experiencing homelessness were:
    • at dire risk of rape, assault, suicide, substance abuse, hunger, bullying and other risks; and
    • the incidence among students in transition (no matter their living situation) was significantly higher than that of their housed peers.