The Hidden Lives of Homeless Children

This article discusses the plight of homeless families living in New York City. A typical homeless child is under five years old, very poor and living with a sibling and a single mother. The mother may lack the education or job skills to lift her out of poverty; often, she has been the victim of domestic violence. Compounding such children's precarious circumstances are two long-term economic trends: stagnant or falling wages coupled with a rise in housing prices. While the impact of homelessness on these children is difficult to distinguish from the many other hardships of poverty, there is evidence that homeless children have more health problems, more hospitalizations and more developmental problems than poor children who have never been homeless. Homeless children are more likely to wind up separated from their parents for periods, either with other relatives or in foster care. Children who experience homelessness are also more likely to become homeless as adults. (NRCHMI)

Publication Date: 
March 24
Journal Name: 
New York Times Magazine