Only a third of the students who reported being homeless last school year were in the formal shelter system.

The number of homeless students in New York City dropped 2 percent last school year but still topped 100,000, according to data released Thursday.

The New York State Technical and Education Assistance Center for Homeless Students (NYS-TEACHS), which released the information, says that while 32,700 of those homeless students spent time in city shelters, some 73,000 did not. Instead, they and their families found refuge “doubled up” with friends or family–further indication that, as large as it is, the city’s nightly shelter census does not reflect the enormous scale of the homelessness problem.

In addition to those who were in shelters or doubled up, some 342 students lived in hotels, and more than 5,300 lived unsheltered, in cars, parks, campgrounds or abandoned buildings.

The tally by TEACHS, a project of Advocates for Children of New York, comprises students who were homeless at some point during the 2019-2020 school year. It is not a point-in-time count, nor does it represent kids who were homeless for the entire year. It does reflect the homeless count in charter schools as well as regular public schools, though 89 percent of the homeless students attended the latter. Most of the homeless students (53,000) were in elementary school.

Outside New York City, the rest of New York State reported just under 32,000 homeless students.

While every New York City school district reported some number of homeless students, there were stark geographic disparities. District 10 in the northwest Bronx had nearly 10,000 such students, while Brooklyn’s District 16 had just over 1,100.

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