City's Failure to Provide Busing Leave Some 4,000 Homeless Children at Shelters, Missing First Day of School

The City failed to arrange busing for many homeless children, with the result being as many as 4,000 homeless children were left at their shelters on the first day of school.

Josh Goldfein, a Staff Attorney in the Civil Practice's Homeless Rights Project, told NBC New York's I-Team that city officials should have planned for the children’s transportation so the young students could “to go to school on the first day, just like everybody else.” After I-Team reporting last year on the long commutes homeless children and their parents had to make from their shelter to school, city officials lifted certain mile limits on bus routes, hired more drivers and bought more buses. But when the new school year started last week, buses, for many never arrived. City officials say they are working to address the problem.

“There’s no reason why the city wouldn’t have known that all these kids needed to go to school on the first day, just like everybody else,” Goldfein said. He explained why many homeless families kept their children in the same school, even if they had to move to shelter spaces located far away. “The most important thing in the life of a homeless child is stability,” he said. A client of Nickeysha Brown, a Paralegal 11, was also interviewed by NBC. She explained how difficult it is for homeless families to keep their children in the same school, but how important it is for their stability.