The three basic needs of every individual are food, clothing and shelter, also known as a home. Homelessness is a condition when people do not have access to the shelter need. Having a home has several benefits. One of them is that it maintains safe, secure and adequate housing. Homelessness has a negative impact on children and their educational opportunities. Children who lack a home miss the residency requirement, guardianship, have a delay in their school records, lack transportation means and can even lack healthcare benefits such as immunizations.
However, every homeless child has rights. One of the rights of a homeless child is the selection of the school. In a circumstance when the family of a child is forced to relocate to another place, either in a shelter or hotel, LEA states that it is the right of the child to remain in the original school unless the guardians or parents prefer otherwise. Moreover, a homeless child has a right for enrolment in a school. McKinney-Vento states that a homeless child should immediately be enrolled in school even if he cannot produce school records. Also, it is the right of the child to have a schooling dispute resolved. If the homeless child has to be enrolled in another school and he or she is denied enrolment in the new school, a written explanation should be noted down for the decision. Other rights include the right to have transportation, the right to access to comparable services, the right to academic achievement standards, the right to local liaisons, the right to Coordination and the right to segregation.
Only a small percentage of homelessness among children is caused by alcoholics mentally challenged people. However, a significant fraction is caused by runaway adolescents, single parents, either male or female. A larger percentage of the homeless families are the one headed by a female.
Due to the rise of homelessness among children, schools have been affected by new challenges in education. The challenges include: establishment and maintenance of enrollment procedures so as not to discourage the attendants, the lack of teachers who are skilled in handling special needs of homeless cases. Moreover, the absence of transferring to a school for the children who are homeless is another challenge.
The county’s government of Oregon should put more effort to assist the homeless children so that they can have access to the public education in the same manner as the other children. They should look at a scenario that are negatively affecting the children. One problem is the daily demand for food and shelter, which have pushed away the educational needs of the child aside.
Immediate actions should be taken to end homelessness among children in Oregon and the entire country at large. The children’s health should be protected, the hunger and food insecurities should be eliminated, the education of the children should be supported, and moreover, any unnecessary family separation should be prevented. When children are in a stable and secure homes, they are less likely to run away to the streets and involve themselves in crime and drugs. Every child has a right for a safe home that they will grow in, learn and feel loved.