Bullock commemorates Youth Experiencing Homelessness Week, Red Shirt Day

HARRISBURG, Nov. 20 – Today, state Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., hosted a news conference alongside state Sen. Larry Farnese to recognize Educating Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Week in Pennsylvania, as well as Red Shirt Day, which raises awareness about homelessness across the state.

“Homelessness has a profound impact on children’s success in school and later in life,” Bullock said. “It’s incredibly important to raise awareness of this issue so that teachers, administrators and other educators can offer support when it’s needed most.”

“The number of youths experiencing homelessness increased by 22% this year. While we don’t know what factors are driving this, we know that these students need to be supported, that they have a right to an education and as much stability as we can possibly provide,” Farnese added. “That’s why we are here today and why Red Shirt Day is so important -- to assure these kids that they are not alone.”

During the 2017-18 school year, more than 36,000 students were identified as experiencing homelessness or having inadequate housing.

Bullock and Farnese were joined by advocates against homelessness, including Nikki Johnson-Huston; Thomas Jackson, a policy and research analyst with People Emergency Center; Ameera Sullivan, guidance counselor at Strawberry Mansion High School in Philadelphia; and Sonia Pitzi, Region 3 coordinator with Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness.