University of Mary Public Affairs
Right here in Bismarck-Mandan 1 in 5 children live in poverty and 450 students in Bismarck and Mandan Public schools are homeless. In many cases, issues of addiction, domestic violence, and mental health contribute to the cycle of homelessness and poverty. Without stability and a warm, safe shelter, kids don’t have a foundation for success. For some struggling students, home instability is the source of their learning difficulties.
Success at an early age translates into success later in life. For example, 75% of students who start kindergarten at a reading level behind their peers never catch up. Additionally, if a child can’t read proficiently by the end of 3rd grade, they are four times more likely to drop out of high school. A student who doesn’t graduate high school is likely to earn a salary around $20,000, leaving them struggling to pay for necessities like childcare, healthcare, gas and housing.