Housing instability and homelessness have long-term educational impacts, says Erb-Downward

September 23, 2021 WDET

Jennifer Erb-Downward spoke with WDET about the pervasive undercounting of children who experience housing instability or homelessness, and it's long-lasting impacts on their education.

”In every single classroom in Michigan there’s going to be a child who is experiencing homelessness and housing instability," said Erb-Downward.

Erb-Downward's research shows that children who have experienced homelessness at any point in time are more likely to be suspended or expelled from school.

“What that really says is that we are not recognizing the issue of trauma that is really connected to the experience of housing instability and homelessness for kids,” she says, “and that when behaviors are manifesting in the classroom, rather than trying to connect those kids to the support services that they need, we’re pushing them out of school.”