It’s late afternoon and the day has just ended at a Los Angeles school. Students are making their way toward the parking lot, where a dusty 2001 Ford Taurus stands out among the shiny SUVs filled with waiting parents.
Kids walk by and stare. In the back seat of the Taurus, James, a tall 14-year-old in a checkered shirt, smiles. He is familiar with the stares.
He never told anyone that he was once homeless, but they knew. It’s hard to hide homelessness from other kids, he says. They want to know why you’re wearing the same shirt and why you look tired.
More than 1.1 million public school students in the United States do not have permanent homes, according to data compiled by the Department of Education.
A story from Arizona Public Radio. Read on.