MPUSD Recognizes Homeless Youth Awareness Month
Nearly a quarter of MPUSD students are experiencing homelessness
According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, in March 2023, one in 10 young adults ages 18 - 25, and one in 30 children face homelessness over the course of a year in the United States. During the school year immediately following the global pandemic in 2020-2021, U.S. public schools enrolled nearly 1.1 million students experiencing homelessness in grades preschool through 12. The data also indicates that LGBTQ youth have a 120% greater risk of homelessness than other youth, Black youth are at an 83% higher risk, and Hispanic youth have a 33% greater risk.
November marks National Homeless Youth Awareness Month and an opportunity to educate the community about youth experiencing homelessness particularly in the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District.
In Monterey County, the percentage of students facing homelessness in the 2022-2023 school year was 16% (as of July 2023) and similarly in the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District in 2022-2023 there was about 22% of students (approximately 2,235) who experienced homelessness.
MPUSD has been recognized statewide for its commitment and work to serve its students and families experiencing housing insecurity. The district offers a variety of supports, including resource centers at every school site, liaisons providing direct support to students at all of our schools, short-term hotel stays through a unique partnership with Motel 6, a centralized Family Resource Center that provides access to basic needs like food and clothing, and collaboration with the county in addressing system wide needs.
Its program, in partnership with the National Center for Youth Law and the Monterey County Office of Education, is hailed as a model to assist schools and school districts in capturing accurate data and helping in the alignment of services to serve students and their families best. Learn more about the statewide recognition at www.mpusdbests.org.
If you and your family or you know of an MPUSD student and family experiencing homelessness, visit MPUSD’s website or contact the district’s Family Resource Center at 831.392.3928.
The definition of homelessness is not what many might think. In fact, the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act identifies youth and children experiencing homelessness as:
- Individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence
- Individuals who share the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason
- Individuals living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of adequate alternative accommodations
- Individuals living in emergency or transitional shelters
The Act further defines youth and children experiencing homelessness as:
- Those who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as regular sleeping accommodation for human beings
- Children and youth who are living in garages, sheds, cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings
Even more alarming, the population of youth experiencing homelessness also includes unaccompanied youth who have left home for one or more nights without permission; youth who have been asked to leave their homes, are abandoned, deserted, or prevented from returning home; and youth who have either aged out of foster care or have been released from juvenile justice or other public systems with nowhere to go.
MPUSD in the News
- Monterey Herald: MPUSD continues to fight student homelessness as numbers rise
- Monterey County Weekly: MPUSD launches a website to teach other school districts how to support homeless students