How Housing Policy Impacts School Policy

School Policy

School policy is a big deal, but housing issues have a greater impact than we may realize.

Recently, The Baltimore Sun published an op-ed written by Nancy Newman regarding housing policy and its inherent ties to school policy. In it, Newman points out that “stable, affordable housing is critical for the future of our city’s children so that they can reach their children.” As much as we may place an emphasis on school policy, we won’t see major improvements in the education of our children if those policies are being bottlenecked by housing issues. For us at My Brother’s Keeper, this is an important concern and we believe Nancy Newman raises some important points.

How Does It Impact Students?

Regardless of how much potential a student may have or what school setting they find themselves in, something like homelessness or housing instability can have dramatic effects on a child’s education. It’s difficult to focus on one’s learning experience when you’re worried about whether or not you’ll have a roof over your head that night. If we want to see substantial gains in education, we must take a comprehensive approach and realize all of the other factors that impact a child’s learning–one of the biggest of which is our approach to housing in general.

How Is It Being Approached?

As Newman points out, there are efforts being made to improve Baltimore’s housing situation. She writes, “The 20/20 Vision, led by the Baltimore Housing Roundtable, challenges the city to commit significant bond money to housing that will remain permanently affordable through Community Land Trusts (CLTs) and other shared equity models.” As she continues to explain, CLTs are community-led groups meant to help improve neighborhoods and give children more resources so they can focus on school.

My Brother’s Keeper and Tackling Housing

At My Brother’s Keeper, we’re dedicated to helping those in need find reliable housing. We offer housing referrals and also have youth programs intended to help young people become active participants in their own lives. Danise Jones-Dorsey, Executive Director of MBK, said, “safe, environmentally sensitive, stable housing is essential to MBK’s goal of transforming the community and applauds the work of this coalition! Thanks!”

Talk to My Brother’s Keeper About Helping in Baltimore

To learn more about our youth programs, Attendance Affirmation Project, how to help, or to find out more about our services including hot meal programs, employment assistance, health services and identifying possible emergency shelter, call MBK today at 410-644-3194. You can also follow our official MBK page on Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, to stay up to date on our center’s progress and upcoming events in the community.

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