A recent article in the Boston Globe by James Vaznes reported that the Boston school system plans to launch a $1 million initiative to provide more services and support for the approximately 3,000 students who are experiencing homelessness.
The schools will be provided money to help students with tutoring, clothing, food, or transportation; and training for teachers, aids, and administrators on how to pick up clues that students are homeless and ways to help them and their families.
The story made me think about Mayor Marty Walsh’s priorities.
In a recent op-ed in the Mission Hill Gazette about helping Boston’s homeowners, Walsh wrote, “When I ran for Mayor, I knew I wanted to make Boston a city where every resident can afford to live, work, and raise a family.”
Walsh went on to describe a “booming tech sector,” “economic growth,” and his plan to “ease the financial burden on our middle class and family homeowners.”
But where was the acknowledgement that there are 3000 homeless children in one of America’s richest, most well-educated cities?
Boston has a Mayoral race that is heating up, and Mayor Walsh is under pressure to address these issues. Pledging to fight against income inequality and to increase support for public education, District 7 City Councilor Tito Jackson launched his mayoral campaign several weeks ago.
Jackson remarked that “Boston is at a crossroads. We’re at a fork in the road. A decision point. The middle class in the beloved community, the neighborhood that I grew up in stands in the balance.”
Jackson cited studies that showed Boston ranking number one in income inequality in the U.S. This begs the question, what is our priority, luxury housing, or homeless children?
In my opinion, all of us must work much harder to ensure that, when election time rolls around, there are zero homeless children in Boston.