When listening to the main stream media, one would be led to believe that America is all fine and dandy. Those spectacular jobs numbers continue rising higher and higher. Surely it is possible to head right out and find a good paying job, find a home and support a family. Unfortunately, this is a major misconception and the number of homeless children in America has boomed over the years. Below, you will learn all about homelessness in the United States and will given an in-depth look at homeless kids and the impact homelessness has on them.
Homeless Youth Statistics
So, just how many Americans are homeless and how many of those are children? According to statistics, nearly three and a half millions individuals are homeless in America, with 25% of those being children under the age of eighteen. And it gets even worse. In a single Tennessee country, Knox, there were 464 homeless students, during the 2014 to 2015 school year. For the entire state, the numbers were 17,272. The scary part? The numbers soared astronomically in a single year. The previous year’s numbers were 14,319!
How does the Department of Education justify these claims? Well, at least they acknowledge some of this has to do with economic hardships. Their other reasoning? Oh! The district and school staff has received better training, which allows them to identify homeless children, with more accuracy. Unfortunately, that is laughable and nothing more than self-righteous rhetoric.
What is Homelessness?
So, what exactly is classified as a homelessness for a potentially homeless kid? Well, children are semi-protected by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. Is it entirely helpful? No, but it does allow them to go to school! Does it help their home life? Not a bit. Anyway, this is how they classify homelessness.
- Children living in cars, public locations or abandoned building
- Children that sleep in unordinary locations, such as parks
- Those that are waiting to be placed by foster care placement
- Any child that lives in a motel, camp ground, or trailer park, due to no viable alternative
- Children that are forced to share housing, which has been brought about by economic hardship or housing loss
So, how does the law help? Well, the act ensures that homeless children are given free transportation to their original school for the remainder of the school year. If they lack necessary documents, they’re still allowed to enroll. So, does it really help? Unfortunately, not really.
What are people homeless?
There are many people that cannot comprehend this fact and often question, “how do people become homeless?” There are truthfully many causes of homelessness and yes some people choose to be homeless. Refusing to conform to society or parental authority is often a major factor that leads to homelessness, but some is brought on by outside factors. This is especially true, when it comes to children.
Some children are unfortunate enough to be raised in horrendous homes, with drug abuse and chaos. Others suggest the cost of housing is simply too high. Others blame homelessness on low incomes. Hotels and motels are becoming a safe haven for the homeless. The problem with this is the fact that motels can be just as costly, as renting an apartment! Mental health can also be another factor.
So, what is the true cause for homelessness? It is hard to say, but it mostly boils down to luck and hardship. Those with unfortunate luck and a string of hardships, such as unemployment, family death and divorce, can all lead to homelessness, can easily fall into the gutter and become homeless. Therefore, the reasons are plentiful and diverse.
Any Cure for Homelessness?
First and foremost, it is vital to look at groups like United Way. If you’ve ever worked for any big company, it is highly likely that you’ve been pressured to give money to this organization. The higher ups come around once every so often and pressure you to no end, until you give up your money, in order to make the company look good. What exactly does United Way do and is it worth donating to? Well, the group likes to play games and raffle off your hard earned money for starters.
How about Habitat for Humanity? Take the time to look around at those that have been granted homes. Do your research and take the time to study these organizations! Never ever feel pressured to give!
Unfortunately, you’re better off giving directly to those that you deem to be worthy. Don’t use a middle man, because they’re not trustworthy.
Overall, homelessness is devastating and will negatively impact children the most. Sadly, there is no end in sight. What is the solution? Is there one? Who knows? But something needs to be done!