A new study found that the number of homeless children in America is at an all-time high, The Huffington Post reported. The report, “America’s Youngest Outcasts,” discovered that one in 30 children are homeless in America. The growing homelessness in America is surely another symptom of the growing income gap.
The study, released today, was conducted by the National Center on Family Homelessness (NCFH) using each state’s rate of child homelessness. According to the report, there were approximately 2.5 million homeless children at any given time in 2013, the most at any point in American history. That’s an eight percent increase since 2012.
The NCFH bases it calculations on information taken by the Department of Education, which counted 1.3 million homeless children in public schools, alongside approximations of homeless preschool children. California has by far the largest number of homeless children in America.
With one-eighth of the American population in California, the state makes up one-fifth of the homeless child population at nearly 527,000.
The report “blames the nation’s high poverty rate, the lack of affordable housing, and the impacts of pervasive domestic violence” for the record number of homeless children in America. Of all the 50 states, Alabama, Mississippi, and California had the largest number of homeless youth in the country.
To help curb the number of homeless American children, the report recommends that education, employment opportunities for parents, special services for mothers affected by, and affordable housing be expanded.
According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s annual one-day count of homeless people in shelters, parks, and underpasses in January 2013, there were 610,042 homeless people. Approximately 130,515 were children.
American homelessness is a huge problem. The biggest problem with it is that there is no easy fix because it’s becoming so widespread. We can all blame that on the still-crippled state of the economy for lower- and middle-class Americans. American homelessness is yet another symptom of our growing income inequality.