Growing Homelessness Among Children, Says 60 Minutes

Almost 25% of America’s children are living in poverty.  CBS’ “60 Minutes” Sunday night aired a disturbing segment about the growing number of children who face homelessness due to the lingering effects of the recession- an issue I touched on in a post last September. Unfortunately, Congress appears unlikely to respond adequately to the rising need for help.

Federal programs such as the Housing Choice Voucher program, which helps low-income families rent housing in the private market, play a critical role in preventing and ending homelessness among families with children. Nevertheless, in a new report, the House-passed budget for the rest of this fiscal year would slash administrative funding for local housing agencies operating voucher programs. 

The House budget also would give agencies that run public housing developments less money to make needed repairs, such as fixing leaky roofs and replacing broken heating systems. Both cuts would likely force agencies to help fewer low-income families with kids to find housing.

Cuts to housing aid for veterans, disabled

The House plan would also cut programs that help low-income veterans, people with disabilities, and senior citizens find affordable housing. For example, it would eliminate funding to provide new housing vouchers to 10,000 homeless veterans.

Senate Democrats have offered an alternative that would retain the few positive features of the House plan, such as providing enough renewal funding (as opposed to administrative funding) for the housing voucher program. The Senate plan also would avoid the worst cuts in the House plan, like new vouchers for homeless veterans. And it would increase homeless assistance by $190 million, providing modest additional resources to help families avoid homelessness or obtain housing if they become homeless.

Homeless kids affected for life

Studies have shown that homelessness has long-term adverse consequences for children’s health and success in school- and a failure to address rising homelessness among kids is therefore shortsighted.

Even the funding in the Senate plan isn’t significant enough to make a real dent in the number of homeless families with children. But at least the Senate proposal recognizes that continuing to combat some of the most severe hardships brought on by the recession, and taking some small steps to address the growing shortage of affordable housing for low-income families, should remain priorities.

This post was originally published by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

 

Related Stories:

LGBT Immigrant Youth Face Increased Risk of Homelessness

Homeless in High School

Homeless Youth Help Homeless Animals

 

Photo courtesy of RachelEllen via Flickr
Written by Douglas Rice, a blogger for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

80 comments

Jeanne R
Jeanne R16 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R16 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R16 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R16 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R16 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Mitchell D.
Mitchell D5 years ago

Oh, did I mention also working to go sour on working folk in the unions.
Hey, Scott Walker, and ilk, are you aware of the lives lost in the battles to develop unions, to begin with, literally?
Do you have any idea of what working conditions were like in the "Good Old U.S.A." before unionism? Did you ever hear of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire? It was very much like the one that killed all those poor workers in Pakistan just the other day, VERY.
Did you ever hear of, or see, the factory sign that said "If you don't come to work on Sunday, don't come Monday."
Do you like your weekends, do you like your possible overtime pay, sick leave, paid holidays, on and on and on.
Then thank the Union Cause!

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Mitchell D.
Mitchell D5 years ago

O.K., so here is to all the rabidly patriotic clowns who, during the days of protest in the Vietnam war era told me This is America, if you don't love it, leave it!"
I love it, I loved it then, but...it seems that your type has left it to go sour. Sour on the promise of opportunity, sour on the vets that the Bush era tried to ignore, sour on the real middle class, and now working to go sour on women.

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Jami Winn
Jami Winn6 years ago

they probably (actually more than likely) left home of their own free will and are going to be worthless to society anyway

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Norma V.
Norma Villarreal6 years ago

If children are our future, 'woe is us.'

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Myriam Garcon
Myriam G6 years ago

Dear Mary L
I'm also Canadian, and wanted to tell you that not all Canadians are pontificating, like Deanna W. Some of us do things to help.

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