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Homeless youth face barriers in learning during pandemic

For hundreds of youth living in shelters in the Seattle area access to schooling was already a challenge, but the impacts of the pandemic have added on a new layer of physical, mental and emotional hardships. Attending school via Zoom is challenging enough when you have a stable home, involved parents and a reliable internet connection. What happens when kids live in a homeless shelter? Youth housing programs around Washington worry that, as the school year continues remotely, the kids in their care will fall further behind. These youth often have had their schooling disrupted multiple times, and many are English-language learners trying to catch up with their peers. Completing their education is a critical step on the path to independence, but now that’s even harder. Youth and young adult housing programs say they are struggling to meet kids’ educational needs.