Youth Homelessness in Today’s Tough Economy
Around the country, runaway and homeless youth organizations are facing the challenge of accommodating more youth as a result of the current economic downturn. The relentless surge of home foreclosures, massive unemployment, stifling consumer debt and bankruptcies are conspiring to break up families and force more young people to the streets, youth workers say.
“Unfortunately, there has been a drastic increase” in young people needing emergency shelter, says Maria Mayola, director of community relations for Covenant House Florida in Orlando. “For two and a half to three months, we were well over capacity. We have been making special arrangements, using our chapel to accommodate more youth. For the first time in our history, we are operating off a waiting list.”
Steve Jella, associate executive director of San Diego Youth Services, says he’s seen a marked increase in youth seeking services for a variety of reasons, most of which can be associated with our troubled economy.
“Some of the programs I serve here focus on the eastern part of our county, which encompasses urban and rural areas. We’re noticing a lot of trends. [One community] has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the county and at the same time, it also has the highest rate of where parolees go. So there are a lot of youth and families that we traditionally serve now coming in with significantly more severe problems,” he says.
For the entire article: http://ncfy.acf.hhs.gov/tools/exchange/serving-youth-economic-downturn/youth-homelessness .
In the United States, on a per capita basis one of the richest OECD member countries, has a child poverty rate of 21.6 percent — meaning that more than one in every five children there lives in poverty per Globallist.