The number of homeless children in the United States has surged in recent years to an all-time high, amounting to one child out of every 30, according to a comprehensive state-by-state report.Titled "America's Youngest Outcasts," the report being issued Monday by the National Center on Family Homelessness (NCFH) calculates that nearly 2.5 million American children were homeless at some point in 2013. The number is based on the Department of Education's latest count of 1.3 million homeless children in public schools, supplemented by estimates of homeless pre-school children not counted by the DOE.
Child homelessness increased by 8 percent nationally from 2012 to 2013, according to the report (PDF), which warned of potentially devastating effects on children's educational, emotional and social development, as well as on their parents' health, employment prospects and parenting abilities.
NCFH — a part of the private, nonprofit American Institutes for Research — says remedies for child homelessness should include an expansion of affordable housing, education and employment opportunities for homeless parents, and specialized services for the many mothers rendered homeless due to domestic violence.
The problem is particularly severe in California, which has one-eighth of the U.S. population but accounts for more than one-fifth of the homeless children with a tally of nearly 527,000.
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With a country so rich in natural resources its a damn shame we cannot take care of those who are the least among us. "The measure of a civilization is how it treats its weakest members."