A new report by The National Center on Family Homelessness says the number of homeless children in the United States has increased markedly since its last study in 2006. America’s Youngest Outcasts 2010 documents the numbers of homeless children in every state, their well-being, the risk for child homelessness, and state level planning and policy activities.
Connecticut was 12th in composite score on those factors, but ranked 30th in the child well-being category. Nationally, the study found that:
1.6 million American children, or one in 45 children, are homeless in a year, up from 1.5 million (1 in 50) in 2006.
Each week, more than 30,000 children are homeless – equal to more than 4,400 each day.
Children experiencing homelessness suffer from hunger, poor physical and emotional health, and missed educational opportunities.
A majority of these children have limited educational proficiency in math and reading.
The risks for child homelessness—such as extreme poverty and worst case housing needs—have worsened with the economic recession, even though the total housing capacity for families increased by more than 15,000 units in the past four years, primarily due to the federal Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP).
- Adding to the bleak picture, planning and policy activities to support the growth and development of those vulnerable children remain limited. Sixteen states have done no planning related to child homelessness, and only seven states have extensive plans.
The numbers of homeless children in 2010 are likely undercounted since data collection procedures changed in California, reducing California’s reported total by 162,822 children in a single year, from 2009 to 2010. In the three previous data years (2007, 2008, 2009), California accounted for more than 25% of the nation’s homeless children.
The complete report, fact sheet, executive summary and state rankings on the four factors can be found here.