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September 15, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Number of homeless public school students doubles nationwide

HOMELESSNESS/EDUCATION
Nationwide, the number of homeless children in public schools has doubled to a record 1.36 million during the 2013-2014 school year. The impact is severe on public schools throughout the country and in the region, as they struggle to address the challenges facing students. (WaPo, 9/14)

Homeless children are more likely to be diagnosed with learning disabilities, are more likely to miss school and change schools, are more likely to drop out of school than other children and score lower on standardized tests.

It is not just urban school systems that grapple with homelessness; the problem extends to rural and suburban communities, especially as the revitalization of cities has forced low-income families to look for cheaper housing elsewhere.

POVERTY
– In Prince George’s County, the Circuit Court has undertaken some reforms to the ways in which companies can petition to purchase structured settlement payments from individuals who are often vulnerable to the lure of fast money through lump sum payments – even when they stand to lose out on much of the funds awarded to them. Many of the cases involve victims who received settlements because they were exposed to lead poisoning. (WaPo, 9/13)

Who’s in Poverty? The Census Bureau’s Getting Better at Telling Us (WSJ,9/15)

WORKFORCE/REGION
– Washington Business Journal compiled a list of the top 20 fastest-growing jobs in the region. Personal care aides came in at number one with a 29% average annual rate of change in the number of jobs available in the area from 2009-2014. (WBJ, 9/15)

Related: A few years back, WRAG members interested in how best to support the region’s aging population presented a learning series on strengthening the direct care workforce, which includes personal care aides. As the need for high quality and affordable caregiving grows, it is critically important that direct caregiving be transformed into a sustainable and high quality career opportunity. Check out this edition of What Funders Need to Know to learn more.

– D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has announced new initiatives that would  provide job-readiness training for inmates and returning citizens in an effort to assist them in their transition back into society. (WaPo, 9/14)

HOUSING
– Hola Cultura, a social profit organization, presents a special series on D.C. Latino history and how housing has played a significant role in where Latinos have lived in D.C. since  1970. Information was compiled using tools to map Census data, investigating affordable housing programs and policies, and by conducting oral histories with local Latino residents. (Hola Cultura, 9/2015)

In Alexandria, a choice of historic preservation or affordable housing (WaPo, 9/12)

FOOD | A new study finds that, although nearly one in seven U.S. households is food insecure, only 61% of eligible households take advantage of programs such as WIC, SNAP, and free school meals. About 10 million students who qualify for free school breakfasts don’t eat it. (HuffPo, 9/10)


This week, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of a television show – nay, a cultural institution – known as The Golden Girls. Find out if you’re a Blanche, Dorothy, Rose, or Sophia

– Ciara

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