School has been a lifeline for homeless youth. Now what?

Providers say district going online is ‘keeping many of us up at night’

For youth experiencing homelessness, Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth executive director Arash Ghafoori described the classroom as a last refuge. 

Schools can provide a safety net where they can access social service resources needed for survival. In the long run, education and earning a high school diploma becomes a tool that can help youth exit homelessness.

“Whether a youth is experiencing homelessness alone or if a youth is part of a family unit that is experiencing homelessness, school is a valuable tool and resource,” he said. “Not only can youths go to school to get educated but (school) also provides parents time to go to work. (Students) have access to free and reduced lunch and community partners that are within the school. But now, all of these things are threatened or not there in a very easy way for people to access.”

Service providers including Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth and HELP of Southern Nevada are worried what an online school year could mean for youth experiencing homelessness.

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