The recent report by the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness “No Longer Hidden: The Health and Well-being of Homeless High School Students” provides a critical look at the more than 360,000 high school students experiencing homelessness across the country. As noted in the report, this group are more likely than their housed classmates to be chronically absent, transfer schools, score lower on test, and ultimately drop out. Beyond those issues, homeless students are also more likely to experience poorer physical health, mental health, and engage in risk behaviors. The report is presented in a series of seven “story maps” exploring the data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The seven story maps explore: the importance of data, demographics, physical health, mental health, relationship violence and sexual risk, substance use, and school climate. Key findings include:
- 1 in every 12 high school students experience homelessness;
- Half of homeless high school students were depressed, and 1 in 3 attempted suicide;
- Five times more likely to experience dating violence than housed students;
- 1 in 3 homeless high school students got 4 hours of sleep or less each night;
- Twice as likely to have been bullied as their housed counterparts.