They are called the hidden homeless.
Young outcasts who, through no fault of their own, have entered a world of motels, doubled-up quarters with relatives, a life on the streets or emergency shelter. When you look inside a classroom of students fresh from the summer break, you can’t imagine that some of them have no stable home.
These children and teens, 29,537 total, are enrolled in our public schools and many struggle daily, isolating from peers, missing class, repeating grades, and even dropping out of school entirely. The devastating impact of homelessness creates a wedge to social relationships and learning.
Arizona’s Department of Education reports a slight decline in student homelessness by three-quarters of 1 percent in its most recent report, but the latest count far dwarfs the pre-recession level of 19,122 children – an alarming longer-term trend.