60 Minutes recently profiled several families with children who had become homeless as a result of the current economic recession. The number of American children in poverty has increased from 14 million in 2008 to 16 million in 2010. A million houses were foreclosed on in 2010. An accompanying article also states that the child poverty is expected to hit 25 percent. In Seminole County, Florida, just outside of Disney World, nearly 1000 children have recently lost their homes and are living in cars, homeless shelters or motels. According to the county’s director of programs for homeless children, between 5 and 15 students are newly homeless every day.
According to the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, in Cuyahoga County, 1,944 children in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District used services for homeless children in the second half of 2009, as compared to 1657 in the second half of 2008. While family and friends take in 60 percent of these children, 19 percent reported living in shelters and 20 percent were unaccompanied homeless youth. An earlier report from Case’s Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development found that from 2005 to 2008, 65 percent of all homeless individuals living in families are children, and the average length of stay in a shelter for individuals in families was 51 days.
Several Schubert Center Faculty Associates study the impact of child homelessness and the recession.