February 15, By Hannah Wulkan
More than five percent of students in Western Queens schools have been homeless in the past five years, according to a recent study.
According to a report released by the Institute for Children, Poverty & Homelessness, approximately 5.2 percent of children in District 30, which covers Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, and parts of Woodside and Jackson Heights, have experienced homelessness in the last five years.
Schools such as P.S. 152 at 33-52 62nd Street in Woodside reported a child homeless rate of 17.5 percent.
The rate of homeless students in District 30 is lower than the average across the city as a whole, where the homeless rate among students is at about a 12.5 percent.
The organization released a map breaking the data down by school, which “provides a detailed picture of homelessness within the City’s educational system: where homeless students go to school, what kinds of supports they may need, what their academic outcomes look like, what differences exist by the type of homelessness a student experiences, and what the lasting impacts of homelessness are educationally—even after a student’s housing instability has ended,” the report explains.
The largest percentage of homeless students in District 30 schools was in the Academy for New Americans at 30-14 30th Street in Astoria, which has 72 homeless students out of 211 total, or a 34.1 percent rate of homelessness among students, the data in the study shows.
It also shows an 18.3 percent homelessness rate among students at Newcomers High School at 28-01 41st Avenue in Long Island City, and a 17.5 percent homelessness rate at P.S. 152 at 33-52 62nd Street in Woodside.
However many schools in the district had a very small rate of homelessness. Fifteen schools in the district had less than 10 homeless students.
Other schools in the district saw rates of 1.4 and 1.5 percent, indicating very low numbers of homeless students.
Only eight schools out of the 47 in the district saw more than 10 percent of homeless students.
The report shows that about one in eight students has experienced homelessness in the last five years in New York City as a whole, and also broke the trend down by race, showing that over half the homeless students throughout the city were Hispanic, 34 percent were black, nine percent were Asian and four percent were white.
It showed that students who experienced homelessness had a 17.8 percent dropout rate, compared to the citywide rate of nine percent, and students who experienced homelessness had a 52 percent graduation rate, compared with a citywide rate of 70 percent.
“Children who experience housing instability struggle more academically, not because they have less potential than other children, but because they must constantly deal with the stress of uncertainty—will they have food, clean clothes, a safe place to sleep? Education is key to breaking the cycle of poverty and ensuring homeless children have access to a better future,” the report explains.
“With more and more children experiencing homelessness, it is vitally important to understand the unique challenges that homeless students face and the interventions and opportunities available to meet their needs,” it continues.
For the study, please click here.