America’s Homeless Kids Crisis: Vermont Sees Big Jump

New report from The Atlantic highlights the spike in homelessness among American schoolchildren:

The number of homeless students in the United States has hit a record high, according to new data from the Department of Education.

The raw numbers are shocking: in the 2011 school year, 1,168,354 homeless children were enrolled in preschools and K-12 programs. Even more disturbing is the trend those numbers show: nationally, they represent a 10 percent jump over the previous school year, and a stunning 72 percent increase since the beginning of the recession in 2008.

The crisis is not confined to any one region. Forty-three states reported a rise in the number of homeless kids, and 10 showed jumps of more than 20 percent, according to a compilation of the DOE data assembled by the National Center for Homeless Education [PDF]. The biggest jumps were found in Maine (58 percent), Michigan (42 percent), North Carolina (53 percent), North Dakota (212 percent), South Dakota (35 percent), Vermont (31 percent), and Wyoming (40 percent).

Read the full article online here.

Vermont Council on Homelessness Survey Needs Input

The Vermont Council on Homelessness‘ Supportive Housing Workgroup has created two surveys designed to obtain information to better understand and assess the issues and challenges that may arise both for clients and tenants and for housing providers.  These surveys directly respond to the Council’s charge to make progress on expanding the capacity of programs to provide voluntary supportive services once households move into permanent housing.

Please read the full introduction to the housing surveys.  Your participation in these voluntary surveys will assist in giving folks a better understanding of the barriers to stable housing experienced by tenants and landlords in Vermont.

Each survey should take no more than five to ten minutes to complete. Feel free to share the surveys with local housing partners and tenant groups in Vermont. To make sure your responses are included, please complete the appropriate survey no later than November 14.

Housing providers, please take the survey linked here.

Clients and tenants, please take the survey linked here.

If you are a housing provider, in addition to taking the survey yourself, please assist your permanently housed client in participating in the tenant/client survey (i.e. you may print it out and then enter the responses online later, or assist the client in accessing internet themselves, etc.).  A second follow-up survey will be circulated for housing services provideers in December.

Thank you for your participation.

November 8: More Than a Report Card Workshop

On November 8th from 1 to 3:30pm a free workshop will be offered for all Continuum of Care Committees in Vermont.  The workshop is entitled More Than a Report Card: A Workshop to Assess, Review, and Renew Performance.

At the workshop individuals will be working in small groups to address the best practices around:

  • Moving from Transitional to Permanent Housing
  • Length of Stay – 6 months or a year – 80% (Shelter Plus Care)
  • Employed at Exit
  • Increasing Income
  • Mainstream Benefits

There will be an individualized report offered for each agency. 

The location will be in Randolph – the specific location will be announced shortly.

Please RSVP at this linkhttp://doodle.com/vdtgrgb7zrausait

All Continuum Agencies are encouraged to attend.  We hope to see you there!

The mission of the Coalition is to end homelessness in Vermont through sharing information, developing resources, providing a forum for decision-making and to promote decent, safe, fair, affordable shelter for all.