More New York City Students are Living in Shelters. Here’s the Story of One Family.

The school routine starts early for Natasha G. and her two sons.

She wakes up at 6:30 a.m., and starts dressing her youngest, who is 4, while he’s still asleep. She badgers her older son, 6, to get up and get ready.

Her 6-year-old’s school is conveniently just down the block from the emergency domestic violence shelter where they live, one of multiple shelters they’ve stayed in since she lost her job and housing. But Natasha, 29, has a longer trek for her youngest, who has been diagnosed with autism: one city bus to the last stop, transfer to another to get to the school. Then two buses to get home or to one of the myriad appointments Natasha juggles — check-ins with the Human Resources Administration and meetings with potential landlords, for example.

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