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How Many Homeless Kids?


Glad you asked! 

Despite the ongoing, growing level of families and youth becoming homeless in the past 30 years, estimates of this population are extremely inaccurate and confusing. That’s another story for another day. 

HEAR US publicly states  that the U.S. has more than 3 million homeless kids. That number, an estimate, is probably low. But here's where it comes from:

How Many Homeless Kids? 

Identified in school


*Youth not in school


1.3 mil

 1.0 mil

 1.0 mil

 2.0 mil+


Way more than 3 million!

The U.S. Department of Education requires schools to identify and report how many homeless students they serve—1.3 million (2015-16 school year)

            • That number is probably an undercount—still districts report 0 homeless students, despite the impossibility. Some kids don’t get counted because  they/their families don’t self identify, or they don’t realize their “hard times” that include loss of housing qualifies them as “homeless,” (not something people want to be identified as). Shame is a factor, so is fear of child welfare authorities removing the kids from parents. Experts in homeless ed agree that probably at least another million are homeless but not included.
            • 4%, a conservative estimate, of 50 million school kids = 2 million. That doesn’t include the little ones and the bigger ones not in schoo

It all boils down to TOO MANY! Time for action! 

Other YBYK resources:

History - Who Is Charlie?

How To Use the Charlie Book?

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