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New study by Indiana Youth Institute and School on Wheels Highlights Need to Address Equity Gaps Among Students Experiencing Homelessness

INDIANAPOLIS (October 7, 2020) — The Indiana Youth Institute (“IYI”), your partner in improving the lives of all Indiana youth, recently released “2020 Educational Attainment and Economic Prosperity: Improving the Outcomes for Students Experiencing Homelessness in Indiana” a data spotlight created in partnership with School on Wheels, highlighting Hoosier youth homelessness and its lasting effects on our youth.

In the 2018-2019 academic year, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) identified 16,380 students experiencing homelessness enrolled in Indiana schools. The majority, 81 percent, were in schools within metropolitan areas.

“We know that when children experience a positive environment and healthy living conditions, they are more likely to reach their full potential,” said Dr. Tami Silverman, President and CEO of Indiana Youth Institute. “However, students experiencing homelessness face a multitude of challenges compounded by the stress and trauma of housing insecurity.”

Combating our youth homelessness requires a coordinated effort between the State, school districts, and community organizations. While Indiana is making great strides in its process for identifying and counting student homelessness, there remains concern around students who are uncounted due to different definitions of homelessness, misalignment in staffing resources, lack of structured systems and the stigma of homelessness. Accurate identification is vital as it is the first step to connecting students in homeless situations with the information, resources, and supports necessary to ensure their success.

School on Wheels collaborated on the study with a clear focus on how to better serve our youth by broadening efforts to identify students experiencing homelessness and addressing the academic gaps created through the barriers of homelessness.

“Children experiencing homelessness and housing instability are at greater risk of repeating the cycle of poverty as adults when the gaps in academic proficiency aren’t addressed,” said Sally Bindley, Founder and CEO, School on Wheels. “By providing proven academic interventions and support, together we can help increase educational attainment and success. Assisting Indiana’s most vulnerable population is a community responsibility.”

IYI’ Data Spotlight: 2020 Educational Attainment and Economic Prosperity: Improving the Outcomes for Students Experiencing Homelessness in Indiana” is created in collaboration with School on Wheels. For more information, visit iyi.org


About the Indiana Youth Institute :

For three decades, the Indiana Youth Institute has supported the youth services field through innovative trainings’, critical data, and capacity-building resources, aiming every effort at increasing the well-being of all children. To learn more about the Indiana Youth Institute, visit www.iyi.org, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

About School on Wheels:

Founded in 2001, School on Wheels believes that all children, regardless of socio-economic status or housing situation, deserve access to the same educational opportunities. School on Wheels provides one-on-one tutoring and wraparound academic support for children and families impacted by homelessness in Indianapolis. To learn more visit, www.indyschoolonwheels.org or connect on FacebookTwitterInstagram or LinkedIn.