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Impact Of Homelessness On Children - by Maleek Ratliff

Child Poverty And Homelessness

Poverty in America in some ways looks different than in other countries. Children living

in poverty in America face specific challenges that are more than likely to leave them falling

victim to violence, unlikely to receive decent education, and struggle with health complications that could’ve been avoided. Children who are homeless and living in extreme poverty often end up working, in residential care, or just finding ways to survive on the streets. With survival being the main priority homeless children will often not attend school which is a domino effect that negatively impacts adulthood. As adults they are more likely to be unemployed, live in poverty and depend on government assistance to make a living.

Causes Of Child Homelessness/ What Can We Do?

Some children make the decision to run away from home due to exploitation, abuse, and

in some cases because of parental death. It’s unfortunate that children who make the decision to leave home sometimes find themselves in worse conditions than they were in previously. A homeless child sometimes can wind up in institutionalized care, which can come with being neglected or abused if the facility isn’t managed accordingly. Children who become homeless within a family have multiple ways they land in that situation. Some of the causes for this is one or both parents losing their job, a large unexpected bill or abuse occurs in the family, or there is conflict with family or friends they are currently living with. It’s common that homeless families are usually led by a young single woman that has small children and limited education. The key to helping families with children experiencing homelessness is to secure safe housing. Homeless families can greatly benefit from being connected to employment assistance, mental health counseling, and early childhood services. Families being connected to such resources can drastically improve their lives and help pull them out of poverty.

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