1). Complete families are also in need of other human services before, during, and after the use of homeless shelter services (Culhane, et al., 2011). According to this research study, homeless families appear to use more services provided by homeless service programs than individual single adults do. Apparently, these homeless families supplant mainstream medical services intended for the general public, with services directed towards the homeless offered by homeless service programs (Culhane et al.,
Homelessness is a major problem in the United States. An incredibly vulnerable group is the homeless youth due to their young age and lack of education. According to Edidin, Ganim, Hunter, & Karnik (2012) on any particular night in the United States there are ~2 million homeless youth living on the streets, in shelters, or in other temporary accommodation. Youth become homeless for multiple reasons whether it be because they have aged out of foster care, ran from home, were kicked out of their home, or because they have become homeless along with their family members. Within the umbrella categorization of homeless youth there are high at risk subgroups, common misconceptions, and a serious concern of lack of support and medical services.
Homelessness has been a prevalent and contentious topic since its public emergence in the 1980’s. In fact, according to the most recent estimates, on any given night in the United States, there are roughly 645,000 people residing in homeless shelters or unsheltered street locations (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2011). And based on a local study done by the Mental Health Unit at the Houston Police Department in 2011, Houston has the largest homeless population in Texas and the eighth largest in the United States. While many great efforts have been put forth to aid the homeless population in Houston, “the public health epidemiology task of quantifying and tracking child and family homelessness over time has been complicated…by increasing rates of…shortages [in] affordable housing” (Grant et al., 2013), and restrictions on temporary encampments (Loftus-Ferren, 2013). In order to successfully reduce, prevent and combat homelessness, more policies must be put in place to create sustainable, affordable housing for homeless families and to modify current laws that harm homeless individuals.
There are an estimated 2,981 homeless people in San Antonio each day. Out of these, 1,243 were unsheltered and a staggering 31% of those are people with families. In addition, the average age of a homeless child in San Antonio is 6 years old. An overall picture shows that homelessness has dropped nearly four percent from 2012 to 2013. Further, an average of 610,042 people are homeless across the United States on any given night. “Of that number, 36 percent – 222,197 people – were in families, representing a drop of 7 percent for that group” (Chappell, 2013, p. #). More than a third of these people were not found in shelters, abandoned buildings, cars, or under bridges. Although, there has been a small decline in homelessness,
The effects of teen homelessness are many ranging from untreated physical and mental health to drug and alcohol dependence. Many youth also fall victim to the prison system and even death due to criminal behavior as a means of survival. During my research a study was conducted on youth entering and exiting the foster care system. Research has shown that the very systems put into place to ensure child safety and reduce outcomes such as poverty have place more youth at risk “Homelessness and its associated psychosocial effects continue to plague American urban centers. Especially troubling are suggestions that foster care functions as a pipeline to the streets for older adolescents leaving the system. Surveys of service providers and homeless populations suggest that young people exiting foster care have difficulty securing stable housing” (Fowler, Toro, & Miles, 2009, p.1).
“The National Center on Family Homelessness currently estimates that as many as fifty U. S. children (1.5 million) are homeless or “precariously housed” in temporary quarters such as motels and shelters” (Cohen, 2009). Today’s economic crisis is not helping this growing number of families that are being relocated as home foreclosures and loss of jobs add to the overwhelming number of homeless
Homeless teenagers are a vulnerable population that faces many challenges just in terms of daily existence in addition to their overall development in the transitioning to adulthood. Current studies are reported to indicate that the primary cause of homeless among youth is "family dysfunction in the form of parental neglect, physical or sexual abuse, family substance abuse, and family violence." (Runway & Homeless Youth and Relationship Toolkit, 2009, p.1) Homeless youth are generally defined as "an unaccompanied youth ages 12 and older who are without family support and who are living in shelters, on the streets, in cares or vacant buildings and who are 'couch surfing' or living in other unstable circumstances." (Runway & Homeless Youth and Relationship Toolkit, 2009, p.1) Son (2002) writes that it is "...unknown how many homeless youth are out there. Most of them are not in the child welfare, juvenile justice, or mental health systems, making it difficult to accurately gather statistical data." (p.2)
A very important issue with homeless pregnant women is lack of access to medical care, and lack of support overall. Pregnancy rates of homeless women are upwards of 22%, and 75% of those pregnant and impoverished women reported having obstacles to receiving care, according to a study done by Thomas Jefferson University (Rand, 2011). Low-income, impoverished, and completely homeless women remain faceless, nameless, and inaudible, making them invisible to the modern world at times. Their pregnancies are often in conjunction with substance abuse and abuse in their relationships. The incidence of physical abuse in low-income women is shown to be higher during and after pregnancy than before pregnancy (Saltzman, 2015). Homeless pregnant women also not only have higher incidences of STD’s, but they also tend to be younger, without insurance, uneducated or have a low level of education, and unmarried (Stanhope, 2012). They are also at a much higher risk for multiple pregnancies overall (Crawford, 2012). They are the
While homelessness may be an issue that is so far from the minds of the average American family, the truth remains that the current homelessness statistics in America suggest that the issue of homelessness is far more average than one could ever imagine. As of January 2012, The National Alliance to End Homelessness published a series of reports that listed the number of homeless Americans at 636,017 with a rate of homelessness at 21 homeless people per 10,000 individuals in the general population (NAEH, 2012, pp.1). While 636,017 may seem small in comparison to the country's 311,291,917 citizens, homelessness remains an issue that stems through the ages, through families, through neighborhoods, through ethnicity and the like. Homelessness detrimentally effects families in their health, mortality rate, and ability to seek out employment and basic education. In further viewing the statistics at hand regarding the homeless, their health and behavior, as well as understanding how these people and this issue can be remedied within our country, an overarching assessment of family life and the causes and relief measures of homelessness must be taken into account.
This article takes a critical look at the negative effects on children’s who are living with relatives or friends as a result of their family not being able to financially afford housing. The federal definition of homelessness that all U.S. public schools use includes children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. The law recognizes that living doubled-up is a hardship and an inherent barrier to academic success, and that’s why students living doubled-up are eligible for homeless services under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (Dill, 2015). Since, homelessness generally follows a traumatic event such as divorce, foreclosure, incarceration or job loss, children are more susceptible to present behaviors
In Judy Daniels’ article entitled "Humanistic Interventions for Homeless Students: Identifying and Reducing Barriers to Their Personal Development," the author is successful in describing real-life examples of the effects of homelessness on school-aged children. She starts out with the story of Angie, a high school student who lives in a tent with her mother and two siblings. After being caught for fighting with her classmates, Angie is sent to the counselor’s office where she confesses her frustration with her current living situation.
Living in a Section 8 neighborhood my whole life, I’ve learned a lot about struggles that most kids at my school haven’t even come to see. In my neighborhood, everybody has something working against them and statistically speaking, most of the kids here will never go to college, will never have a stable career, and will end up in prison, if not dead. I know myself growing up without a father and my mom working day and night to support the family, I often didn't get the support I needed growing up and a lot of the kids here are in the same position. We’ve have had to take care of ourselves and fill the position our parents can’t.
A young woman, pregnant, scared, and alone gives birth to a healthy baby. She has no idea what to do. How can she handle a newborn baby when she can’t even take care of herself? Depressing thoughts enter her mind, and she can’t think of anything but to do something she will regret later. She doesn’t realize her choices. This is what safe havens are for. Safe havens are usually located at hospitals, but depending on what state you reside in, they can also be at fire houses and police stations. The mother of the child can take the baby in and leave it… which isn’t the most attractive thing. Some say safe havens shouldn’t be an option, and that parents should take responsibility for what they have done, and suffer the consequences. It might not be a secure substitute, but think of what could happen if there wasn’t a choice of safe havens. Safe havens are effective at stopping parents from harming or abandoning their babies because of the lives they save, and the opportunities given to the families affected.
Furthermore, the declining availability of public assistance has also increased the number of families that are in poverty or homeless. Fewer families are receiving the help they need. There were once many federal and state assistance programs that were available for those in need, but because of budget cuts, most of the funding for these programs have been cut or eliminated. As a result of loss of benefits many continue to struggle. In Anna Quindlen’s, “Our Tired, Our Poor, Our Kids, Quindlen states how “[a] study done in San Diego in 1998 found that a third of homeless families had recently had
Not only does homelessness occur after contraception but it starts affecting these children from before birth age. Due to many mothers in recent years being teenagers who ages are decreasing year by year, these pregnant mothers go through their nine month pregnancy without proper treatment or care (4). “Fifty percent of homeless women versus fifteen percent of the general population have not had a prenatal visit in the first trimester of pregnancy” (4). Also the “service reports a forty percent substance use rate among women