The Common Profile Of A Homeless Family

2001 Words Apr 9th, 2015 9 Pages
It is estimated that 3.5 million people will experience homelessness during a given year. The fastest growing population experiencing homelessness is families, mostly made up of single mothers and her children. Families headed by women comprise more than half of the homeless population and 42% of this population is under the age of 5. Across the country about 2.5 million children are homeless, which is equivalent to 1 in every 30 children. The legal definition of homeless “refers to those who spend 7 consecutive nights in a car, abandoned building, public park, emergency shelter, nonresidential building, or other unconventional residence.
The common profile of a homeless family is headed by a single mother, in her 20’s with an average of two children, of which one or both are under the age of six. Homeless mothers tend to be poorly educated, unemployed, and lacking the skills necessary to become employed. There is an equal representation of Caucasian (47%) and African American (47%) homeless mothers. These women commonly described their lives as ““… a remarkably constant stream of distressing and spirit-breaking encounters, beginning in early childhood …” including experiencing physical and/or sexual abuse, constant crisis, stress from persistent poverty, violence in the family and community, and isolation. Most of these women grew up homeless and spent their childhood in foster care making them distrustful of the system.
Due to limited access to health care and insurance…
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