Homeless Families Essay

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Homeless families with children Jenisha M. Rivera Lakes High School 1 Homelessness is a devastating experience for families. It disturbs every aspect of family life, damaging the physical and emotional health of family members. It interferes with children’s education and development, and usually results in the separation of family members. One of the fastest growing sections of the homeless population is families with children. A 2005 study revealed that of the counted homeless population, there were 98,452 homeless families, making up 41% of the homeless population (Homelessness Counts, 2007). But, that rate keeps increasing each year due to declining wages and changes in welfare programs. Also homeless families are most commonly headed by single mothers in their late 20s with approximately two children (Rog & Buckner, 2007). Homeless families often double up with other families which cause them to be excluded from the federal definition of chronic homelessness. This states that a chronically homeless person is one who is on the streets or in a shelter (The Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, 2007). This often results in the prevention of many homeless families receiving assistance therefore affecting the increase of the homeless population. Two of the main causes of family homelessness are poverty and lack of affordable housing. In fact, recently, children represent a disproportionate share of the poor in the United States; they are 25 percent of the total population, but 35 percent of the poor population. In 2008, 15.45 million children, or 20.7%, were poor (Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States, 2009). Declining wages account for a major part in the increase of poverty in families. Therefore putting housing out of reach for many families. Statistics show that households still need to work over 40 hours a

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