Homeless Families with Children

Homeless Families with Children

There is a common misconception that homelessness is an issue that only pertains to single men and women, but in reality over 600,00 families a year will experience homelessness (Burt et al, The Urban Institute). Homelessness is a devastating experience for families. It disrupts virtually every aspect of family life, damaging the physical and emotional health of family members, interfering with children’s education and development, and frequently resulting in the separation of family members. The problem of family homelessness is not solely restricted to urban areas; rural and suburban communities are increasingly plagued by the problem. President Obama recently addressed this vital issue when he stated “It is not acceptable for children and families to be without a roof over their heads in a country as wealthy as ours.” (Press Conference, Feb. 2009). The issue has become even more pressing recently in light of the severe economic downturn and the ensuing loss of jobs. Recent economic turmoil will assuredly lead to more families becoming homeless, testing already strained resources for homeless families. The numbers and citations uses in this report are mostly from before the economic downturn, due to the time and manpower it takes to assemble statistics concerning homelessness. With this in mind the statistics mentioned in this report most likely understate the severity of the issue. The looming and disastrous possibility of increased family homelessness makes understanding the issue immensely pertinent. The dimensions, causes, and consequences of family homelessness are discussed below. Additionally, an overview of policy issues and a list of resources for further study are also provided.

PUBLICATION DATE: 2009
LOCATION: Washington; DC; United States

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