During the 2017-2018 school year, Chicago Public Schools reported serving 17,894 students experiencing homelessness. Of the student experiencing homelessness, 98.3% were children of color. While these numbers are alarming, they are not just the story of Chicago. Many cities are witnessing a growing number of students and unaccompanied minors experiencing homelessness. More surprisingly, the American Bar Association found that more than half of the country has no legal services programs for homeless minors. That means for youth facing barriers in securing identification, school enrollment, housing, employment, or any number of issues that can involve a lawyer, these young people have limited to no options.
In this edition of Coffee Break Exchange, we hear how Chicago is supporting their young people experiencing homelessness and how a local foundation has partnered with them in the fight to ensure equitable access to legal advocacy.
This episode we are joined by:
- Patricia Nix-Hodes, Director of the Law Project at the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
- Debbie Reznick, Senior Program Officer at Polk Bros Foundation