This is not an attempt at some sort of soap box rant. It is fairly obvious that with a foreclosure crises, and a really lousy economy, that there would wind up being more homeless children.
There are a couple sets of numbers being discussed, one report has one in forty-five, 1.6 million total, being homeless. This is the headline 33% increase figure noted below. There are also Department of Housing and Urban Development study (also noted in the linked USA Today article) that put the number of homeless families at 168,000. This smaller number is counting families that live in shelters, or on the streets, and represents a 28% increase.
Report: Child homelessness up 33% in 3 years
Marisol Bello, USA Today, 12 December 2011 (hat tip: NC)
The states where homeless children fare the best are Vermont, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and Maine.
It finds the worst states for homeless children are Southern states where poverty is high, including Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas, and states decimated by foreclosures and job losses, such as Arizona, California and Nevada.
The poverty rate/child homelessness association in not exact. But the linkage is fairly close. All of the States that make the top ten list for high poverty rates are at least above average in child homelessness. The high foreclosure States, tend to push some of the high poverty states (Kentucky, West Virginia, North Carolina) higher up the list. The states at the bottom tend to be a bit warmer.
A state ranking (pdf) can be found here. The full report (3 meg pdf) can be found here2. The report, not too surprisingly, is polemic in nature. Policy decisions are a matter for debate, but there does not seem to be anything wrong with their numbers.So what exactly does this homelessness look like:
• Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason (doubled up):
• Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to lack of alternative accommodations;Note that they do not count runaways. You slide from the first bullet-point, which isn't too awful, to living in abandoned building and sheds.
• Living in emergency or transitional shelters;
• Abandoned in hospitals;
• Awaiting foster care placement;
• Using a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;
• Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
• Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described above.
Life is getting difficult for a lot of people. Some of them are children.