Skip to main content


How Can High Schools Better Serve Teens Experiencing Homelessness? (


To read more of the Learning Newsletter's article, please click here.

This week, 16-year-old Joey will sleep in a soft bed, take a warm shower and have a place to keep his belongings. He’ll then make his way to Learn4Life high school in San Diego where he is catching up on credits and hopes to graduate soon. For most of the past year, he has experienced homelessness…couch surfing when he could, and on the streets when he couldn’t. And Joey isn’t alone.

In the last school year, the number of California teens aged 12-17 experiencing homelessness increased nine percent or by about 16,000, totaling 187,000 kids. [1] In some regions, it’s even higher, like Fresno County that has seen an increase of 30 percent. [2] Keeping these students in school is challenging and made worse because students without secure, consistent housing are twice as likely to be suspended. 3, 4

“If a student doesn’t know where they are going to sleep at night or get a meal, they’re certainly not going to be ready to tackle algebra,” said Shellie Hanes, superintendent of Learn4Life, a network of 80+ public high schools that focus on kids who struggled at traditional schools. “We’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of students who are experiencing homelessness – along with the traumas and mental health challenges that comes with unstable housing.”

Add Comment

Comments (0)

Copyright © 2023, PACEsConnection. All rights reserved.
Link copied to your clipboard.