During the 2015-2016 school year, North Carolina public schools reported that 26,339 students enrolled in grades K-12 experienced homelessness during the school year.
Of the students reported as experiencing homelessness during the 2015-2016 school year, nearly 18% were reported to have some type of disability, while nearly 6% were reported to have limited English proficiency (LEP).
More than 9% of those reported as homeless, were unaccompanied youth (UHY) - students not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian.
The majority of NC K-12 students identified as homeless live in doubled-up situations (sharing housing). Families living doubled up are often confined to one room and are frequently asked to leave without notice. They may live in fear of causing a problem for their host, knowing that they could be kicked out at any time. Children and youth often do not have space to study and cannot get sufficient rest due to overcrowding or stress; thus, they may not be prepared to perform well in school.
While the majority of NC K-12 students experiencing homelessness live in the more populous regions of the State, both urban and rural regions face unique challenges in identifying and serving the educational needs of these students.
NCHEP is dedicated to ensuring that all children and youth experiencing homelessness have access to the public education to which they are entitled under the federal McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth Assistance Act. NCHEP works towards this goal by ensuring that North Carolina's state policies are in compliance with federal law, by providing technical assistance to North Carolina's local homeless education liaisons, and by providing informational and awareness materials to educators and other interested community members throughout North Carolina.