A transformed hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is now the Family Housing Navigation Center, offering refuge for 47 unhoused families and thus helping children attend school regularly. On a recent day, 75 children -- 15 under the age of 2 -- were staying at the Center with one or both parents. The New Mexico Public Education Department found that 61% of housing-insecure students were chronically absent last year, and the Albuquerque Public Schools district has identified about 5.2% of its 70,447 students as homeless but suspects many more haven’t yet been identified. An APS team roams the streets looking for unhoused families, offering to enroll their children in school and providing food, clothing and removing barriers to attending school. Most of the team has lived experience with homelessness, poverty, displacement or barriers, said Cristal Wilson of APS. “We’ve all seen that systems and services make a huge difference in the lives of our students.”

Read Full Story