Why Help?

In July 2018, the Illinois State Board of Education reported that public schools identified 56,881 homeless students in the 2017-18 school year, a year’s increase of 4% or 2,212 students.

Unaccompanied youth (ages 14 through 24) are homeless and living on their own, without the support of family or guardian. An estimated 25,000 unaccompanied youth live in Illinois.

Homeless children and youth live in shelters, hotels, cars, parks, other public places, with friends and/or relatives, foster care or have no place at all.

* Homeless children and youth frequently transfer schools, are 50% less likely to graduate, nine times more likely to repeat a grade, four times more likely to drop out of school.

* Homeless children and youth lack the essential tools needed to enjoy, succeed and stay in school.

Mental Health
Children experiencing homelessness have three times the rate of emotional and behavioral problems compared to non-homeless children.

Among school-age homeless children:
• 47% have problems such as anxiety, depression, and withdrawal, compared to 18% of other school-age children

• 36% manifest delinquent or aggressive behavior, compared to 17% of other school-age children

Developmental Milestones and Academic Performance

• Children experiencing homelessness are four times more likely to show delayed development. They also have twice the rate of learning disabilities as non-homeless children.

• Of homeless elementary students, only 21.5% are proficient in math and 24.4% in reading. It is even worse among high school students, where 11.4% are proficient in math and 14.6% in reading and are twice as likely as to have to repeat a grade, be expelled, get suspended from school, or drop out of high school  

  ~Adapted from the National Center on Family Homelessness