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.


Mitchell D.
Mitchell D4 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!

Mitchell D.
Mitchell D4 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, 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.

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

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal6 years ago

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

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.

Mary L.
Mary L6 years ago

Deana, tell me how to find a job, get the job and move there when you have sold everything sale able and you struggle to put some kind of food on the table?

I think it would be great if people who pontificate about "they should" would volunteer to work with people who are shell shocked and in poverty. People who thought they were middle class and have lost everything. People who are shamed into paralysis by their personal disaster.

Then let me know what to do. I will look forward to hearing from anyone.

CAROL H6 years ago

Wow Jim W. did you really say that you are not God you dont know why these people are in this situation shame on you

deanna w.
deanna west6 years ago

I am a canadian and proud of it. Everyone is going through bad times. Jobs are hard to find, but they are out there. Sometimes it takes relocating. I think that the parents should have guidance, like the kids to help them get ideas how to fix the problem. Most of the people did have jobs, it is not their fault that jobs dry up.
I do feel that since we do pay unemployment that it should be available for those in need.
Here in Saugeen Shores affordable housing is growing.
I think sometimes those decision makers forget who put them in that position in the first place.

I think there should be someone to step in and help the children, they are out future.


Carmen n.
Carmen n6 years ago

What I don't understand is the shamelessness they display, seemingly not caring how they look to the world--presumably their families accept their views--proposing all these mean regulations against those whom they have im-poverished and practically disenfranchised.

They MUST know Obama is not going to sign these things into law, and that all they're accomplishing is showing the world the degree of their meanness, and THEY DON'T SEEM TO CARE! It's almost as if they are in a race to see who can be the meanest, and THAT person will be King!

Carole F.
Carole f6 years ago

children shouldn't need to suffer for the decisions "adults" make. thank you for the article.