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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/16/10

Child Homelessness in America

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Child Homelessness in America - Stephen Lendman


The National Center on Family Homelessness (NCFH) studies and reports on the phenomenon, including its causes and consequences. On March 10, 2009, it launched a Campaign to End Child Homelessness, and on the same day released "America's Youngest Outcasts: State Report Card on Child Homelessness." It discovered one in 50 homeless children annually (about 1.5 million), saying it's dedicated to ending the problem - now even greater than during the timeline of the study, largely preceding the current economic crisis.


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Whether homeless "by economic hardship, domestic violence," war, or other reasons, affected families lose more than homes. They lose health, safety, and the ability to support themselves, their children especially impacted.


Data from 2005 - 06 was the most complete available for the report. Selected 2007 - 08 data was used when possible, including for minimum wage and Fair Market Rent. The last National Survey of Children's Health was completed in 2003.

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Though perceived as an urban issue, rural homelessness is some of the most hidden - complicated by limited access to services, transportation, and affordable housing. Some families move in with relatives or friends. Many others find shelter in abandoned shacks, vehicles, campgrounds, or dilapidated structures on private land. Overall, an estimated 9% of homeless people are rural. Their lower visibility, however, "suggests that this subgroup is not fully represented (in the study) and may contribute to a significant undercount."


NCFH states:


"It is unacceptable for one child in the United States to be homeless for even one day." What does it say about a nation willing to bail out criminal bankers, but won't address "our smallest, most vulnerable citizens."

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Its study updates an earlier 1999 one, showing today's problem is worse. It covers the status of homeless children in four categories:


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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.
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