Trying to stop homeless children slipping through the cracks in San Diego

Monarch School in San Diego, USA, is one of a number of threatened schools serving only homeless children.

Teachers at Monarch report that enrolment has increased by 74% over the last three years – evidence of the lasting effect of the economic recession. No need to recruit here: families learn of the school and others like it by word of mouth, or via social services referrals. Families are usually in this situation, says the American National Coalition for the Homeless, because they’ve lost their homes to foreclosure.

Like other schools for the homeless, Monarch provides free clothes and personal items to children, as well as transport, frequent academic and health assessments, and specialised intensive business courses. Families are not required to provide proof of residency (many students only remain at Monarch for six months at a time) or academic records.

The school, which relies heavily on federal funding, may not survive the current wide-sweeping school district budget cuts.

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Category: Winter 2011

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