Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

114,000 Students in N.Y.C. Are Homeless. These Two Let Us Into Their Lives.

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The US has abandoned greatest-nation status because of how it treats children, minorities, the poor, and the vulnerable. And don’t forget the immigrant children — children! — taken from their parents and then lost, with the Trump administration having no clue as to where they are now.

Eliza Shapiro reports in the NY Times, with photos by Brittainy Newman:

The number of school-age children in New York City who live in shelters or “doubled up” in apartments with family or friends has swelled by 70 percent over the past decade — a crisis without precedent in the city’s history.

By day, New York’s 114,085 homeless students live in plain sight: They study on the subway and sprint through playgrounds. At night, these children sometimes sleep in squalid, unsafe rooms, often for just a few months until they move again. School is the only stable place they know.

The New York Times followed Darnell and Sandivel for one day, from sunrise to sunset, to capture how much effort, help and luck it takes for homeless children to have a shot at a decent education.

Sandivel gets up just before 6 a.m. She shares a bed with her mother, Maria, and youngest brother, Jonni; three other brothers sleep on a thin mattress on the ground. With no space for a nightstand, the cellphone that doubles as an alarm clock is stashed in the bed.

Sandivel gets up just before 6 a.m. She shares a bed with her mother, Maria, and youngest brother, Jonni; three other brothers sleep on a thin mattress on the ground. With no space for a nightstand, the cellphone that doubles as an alarm clock is stashed in the bed.

They have tried to make their space cheerful. The walls, which are painted to look like the sky on a summer day, are plastered with posters of Barack Obama and the Virgin Mary.

Two at a time, the children brush their teeth. Staggering is essential — the family shares the bathroom and the kitchen of the two-bedroom apartment with another family of four.

“I have a lot of people with me, but they comfort me,” says Sandivel, who goes by Sandy.

Sandy has a collection of hair bows lined up on a wall in the bedroom. She picks a different one each morning on her way out.

Maria packs Sandy’s lunch: a bag of cheese puffs, from a huge tub in the kitchen she bought on a recent Costco run. The children make the sign of the cross and head out the door. Ahead of them is an hour commute from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, to the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Sandy is one of over 73,000 homeless students who lived “doubled up” last year. In one place Sandy’s family used to live, a roommate tried to kill a neighbor. In another apartment, the family was barred from using the kitchen by their housemates and had to eat in the bedroom.

Her mother is supporting the family on meager savings and spends each day looking for a steady job, but she is running out of money. Rent for her room is about $700 a month.

Maria commutes with her children to and from school every day, which means she needs to find a job with predictable daytime hours.

On the subway, Sandy looks up from her book and notices an exhausted-looking child standing in front of her. She gives up her seat.

On the subway, Sandy looks up from her book and notices an exhausted-looking child standing in front of her. She gives up her seat. . .

Continue reading. Lots of photos. Much more.

Mahatma Gandhi: “The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.” The US does poorly by this measure.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 November 2019 at 2:46 pm

Posted in Daily life

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