When you see a homeless person walking down the street or view one of the colorful tents set up along the side of the road, stop for a moment and wonder where the children are. When you do see a family or a parent with a child, do you find yourself wondering if the scene is staged to try and get more people to give more money? Homeless children are a hidden crisis in America, and because of the financial problems many families are facing, that number of children is growing into an alarming figure. Here are some facts you need to know about homeless children.
The number of homeless children is under-reported, but a recent study found 4.5 million children had to deal with homelessness each year. Of those children, only 1.5 million attend a school or have any type of education.
Children between the ages of 13 and 17 were often reported as unaccompanied by an adult or older sibling. Whether the child was a runaway and on the street by choice or was forced there by unusual circumstances is not in question; however the child reached the street, once he or she becomes part of that culture, it is difficult to adopt social norms again. Additionally, federally funded shelters found that 55 percent of the children that slept overnight with a parent were under the age of six.
There are no known numbers of how many homeless children go without adequate food each day, but if their parents are starving, it is easy to assume the children are as well.
People like Eyal Gutentag have established charities to help homeless children with food, shelter, education, and through foster parenting organizations. Still, it is difficult to locate a hidden group of people. It is also hard to help people that don’t trust the society to help them that put them on the streets in the first place.
In the land of plenty, it is challenging to understand how millions of the precious youth of America can be homeless. But they are.