Homeless Children: A Sad Epidemic

Tamarra Schrack

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There is an epidemic in America and it’s happening more in our own state: According to National Alliance to End Homelessness, over 2 million of our country’s youth is homeless.

Over 40 percent of the 2 million homeless youth is under the age of 18. It’s hard to believe that so many children are unable to have a safe place to sleep at night. According to Project Home, every night 36,907 children are on the street with nowhere safe to sleep. Most of these children were either forced to be on the street by the death of their parents, had to leave due to sexual or physical abuse, had drug addicted parents, or because they are part of the LGBT community.

There is estimated to be more than 2 million homeless youth, but many of these children hide their homelessness well and continue on going to school or acting like a regular teenager. It’s hard to hear that kids between the ages of 10-17 are sleeping on park benches, in abandoned houses or riding buses every night to get some sleep.

They have no food, no family and no shelter. For youth under 18 years old, there are not many shelters able to take them. It is easier for an adult to find a bed at a shelter than it is for a child under 18.

Covenant House, which is a shelter for homeless youth in Philadelphia, tell us that they turn away about 70 to 80 kids per month because of the shortage on beds.

“Usually she just smacked me on the head with the frying pan. But this one time she was so mad she took this big thing of hot oil she was frying something in and she just threw it at me. Mostly it hit my arm, where it’s all messed; You can see where it just cooked me. The torture Jodie endured at the hands of a woman who should have loved and protected her is among the worst we’ve heard. And it’s no wonder that she chose the uncertainty of homelessness over certain fear and violence at home.” This is one of many stories surrounding homeless youth and the circumstances that lead them on that path, which you can read on Covenant House’s website.

Our government needs to provide more help for these kids and give them resources to be able to get off the street. These kids are our future and they are sleeping on the streets and still trying to attend school and keep their grades up. Many have no choice but to drop out because they can’t maintain being homeless and going to school.

There are many organizations out there that do the best they can to help these kids, but without the government’s help this will continue to go on. Every person can make a difference if they put a little time into solving these issues. There are many websites such as The National Coalition for the Homeless, and The National Alliance to End Homelessness that offer many ways we can pitch in to help. We all need to get involved, even if we just write letters to our state representatives to initiate change or volunteer at the few shelters opened that home these kids. It’s time we all get involved and help these children.


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2 Responses to “Homeless Children: A Sad Epidemic”

  1. Raul De Leon on April 6th, 2016 7:27 pm


    Thank you so much for your great article on homeless youth! It’s nice to see the topic of homeless youth getting coverage as so many people just have no idea!

    Our team just completed the feature documentary American Street Kid and in the process of filming (7 years), built our nonprofit, Spare Some Change.

    Now we’ve launched a national awareness campaign called The Dollar Project.

    Would you take a couple of minutes and check it out? If it inspires you perhaps you’d be open to doing a piece on it…

    http://www.americanstreetkid.com – There’s links to the film trailer and the campaign video on the home page…let me know what you think.

    Thanks so much for taking the time!


    Raul de Leon

    ~American Street Kid Team~


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Homeless Children: A Sad Epidemic