The homeless problem in Syracuse City schools
Thousands of kids in the Syracuse City School District don't have a consistent place to call home.
Some 2,540 children in the district are considered homeless or temporarily housed; Syracuse has more homeless students than any other upstate New York school district.
Here are some of the upstate districts with the highest number of students identified as homeless, according to the New York Department of Education:
- Syracuse: 2,540
- Rochester: 2,459
- Buffalo: 1,687
- Albany: 464
- Troy: 339
- Schenectady: 257
- Utica: 196
Advocates say students identified as homeless are more likely to have trouble pursuing their education and progressing with their peers.
This is often reflected in graduation rates; looking at the three districts with the highest numbers of students identified as homeless (Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo), none had a graduation rate higher than 62-percent in 2016. The state average during that same time was 80-percent.
Advocates argue providing resources to these students can keep them on the right track. In Syracuse, there are people both within the school district and in the community who are working towards that goal.
“We’re going to help and provide for your basic needs, and get your child to school, and we’re there to support them," Kim Vargas, a social worker for the Syracuse City School District, said. "Usually it’s like a weight lifted off of them.”
Tuesday on the NBC3 News at 11 we explore what resources are being put to use and how effective they are.