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Indybay Feature
The Homeless Youth Epidemic is Growing: What are the Solutions to End it?
by Megan Lee
Wednesday May 2nd, 2018 1:32 PM
This article is about how not having adequate housing affects students in the classroom and how California needs more low-income housing so that students have an adequate space to live and complete homework assignments.
Homeless youth is a growing problem in our society that needs to be solved. Education is one of the most important aspects of a young person’s life, but without housing or adequate living spaces children are unable able to focus at school and therefore cannot reap the full benefits of the education they are receiving. The best way to change this is to provide more low-income housing for families who cannot afford other forms of housing.

The Mckinney Vento Homeless Assistance Act defines homeless for youth as “children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement.” Many young people who do not have adequate housing are forced to live in crowded housing either with family members or with other families to afford rental prices (especially in places such as Sonoma County). Crowded housing is not adequate for young people because they do not have adequate space or privacy to complete assignments or get the adequate sleep they need to function normally. The homeless epidemic is affecting our youth because they are not provided with adequate spaces to live which can negatively affect them in the long term. Children who do not have adequate places to live tend to have more behavior problems and problems focusing in the classroom which can affect other students in the classroom and the teacher’s ability to teach the rest of the class. There are advocates for homeless youth who are advocating for these young people but it is the responsibility of the government to implement new housing policies and provide more low-income housing for families who cannot afford high rent which is a common problem in California.

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