Why Some Homeless Students Travel 2 Hours to School

Mar 14, 2013
Gwendolyn Glenn / WYPR

Baltimore city school officials say the number of homeless students enrolled in the district so far, 1,900, is higher than it was last year at this time. What’s just as worrisome for officials is that 44 percent of those students are chronically absent from school.

"What is that?"

"Dry bees."

Forty-year-old Jeanae Paul’s children arrive from school, eager to tell her about their day.

"We’re doing an African dance for Black History Month."

"That is very nice."

Because Paul has a large family, only three of her children live with her at Sarah’s Hope, a homeless shelter for women and children in Reisterstown. Her husband lives in a different shelter and so does another daughter.

Empty Desks: The Effects of Chronic Absenteeism

Mar 8, 2013
H is for Home / Flickr via Compfight

The first installment in a year-long series.

In Maryland, more than 85 thousand students miss a month or more of school annually, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. About 17,000 of those students live in Baltimore city.

At Sarah’s Hope homeless shelter in Baltimore, shelter officials said 10-year-old Jacora Franklin misses school a lot. Sometimes it’s because her bus doesn’t show up, sometimes she’s sick and other times she just doesn’t feel like going—partly because she gets teased for being homeless.