Without a Home: Former Foster Youth Struggle With Homelessness in College

According to the LA Times, Los Angeles community colleges, roughly 44,000 students are struggling with homelessness. Housing costs for students are a problem across the nation, but for foster youth the crisis can be made worse if they are not adopted or their foster families are not supportive.

A youth struggles with homelessness in his sleeping back on a sidewalk.
Reporting on the issue, the LA Times spoke with former foster youth Myriah Smiley, 19, who had her food stamp supply cut off when she received a welfare check. Forced to resort to couch surfing as she studies and dreams of opening her own bakery, Smiley said she’s often forced to go hungry: “I cry at night and hope for better days.” Smiley’s story is not an unusual one; according to a University of Wisconsin Hope lab study, 29% of former foster youth attending community college nationally are homeless.
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Helping Your Foster Child Maintain a Quality Education

Children in foster care face so many challenges. One of the most recurring is maintaining quality education. Many of you are aware that New Jersey passed the Education Stability Law in 2010 to assist children in foster care.

Helping Your Foster Child Maintain a Quality Education

Photo by Anissa Thompson

The law recognizes how chaotic a foster child’s life can be. School should be a foundation for the child’s socialization skills, providing balance against tragic experiences such as neglect or abuse.

New Jersey seeks to assure that there is little if any disruption in the education of the child. Children in foster care should be able to participate in school related activities. Location and transportation are addressed in the New Jersey statute. Continue reading