Noting that children who find them selves on the street some time during the shcool year are 60-percent more likely to drop out of school than the average student, State Senator Wayne Fontana (D-Pittsburgh) introduced a resolution last week declaring the Week of October 14th Homeless Children’s Awareness Week in the commonwealth.
“in 2010 alone 1.6 million children experianced homelessness with more than 31,000 of those yopuths residing in Pennsylvania,” said Fontana.
The senator from Beechview said the goal of the resolution is to bring attention to the problems and issues children experiencing homelessness face throughout Pennsylvania.
Senate Resolution 229 defines homelessness by refering to the Federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, which states that children are homeless if they lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence. Fontana said studies show homlessnes impacts more than academic succes, it also negativly impact the child’s mental and physical health.
Act 123 of 2012 established a commission under the Pennsylvania Department of Education to study and determine the schooling needs of youth experiencing homelessness and Fontana called on individuals and groups across Pennsylvania to add to the effort by creating their own events during Homeless Children's Awareness Week.