Child Homelessness Up 38%—5 Ways You Can Help

With child homelessness on the rise, your help is needed more than ever.
One in 45 children in the U.S. is homeless. (Photo: Getty Images)
Dec 13, 2011
Jenny Inglee is a Los Angeles-based journalist and the Education Editor at TakePart.

A new study by the National Center on Family Homelessness has found that child homelessness has risen by 38 percent from 2007 to 2010.

Ellen Bassuk, president of the center, said in a statement:

“There are more homeless children today than after the natural disasters of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which caused historic levels of homelessness in 2006. The Recession’s economic devastation has left one in 45 children homeless in a year.”

The numbers represent kids who are not only living in shelters, but also motels, campgrounds, abandoned buildings and cars. With the holidays right around the corner, homeless children can use your support. Here are five ways to help:

1. Tutor a Homeless Child

Homeless children often miss school, don’t have the funds for uniforms, and ultimately fall behind on their studies. Help by tutoring a child in your community. School on Wheels in Southern California is a fantastic program that provides homeless kids with one-on-one tutoring, new backpacks and school supplies. Call your local shelter for tutoring opportunities near you.

2. Give to Classrooms in Low-Income Communities

With DonorsChoose, you can give to a classroom in need. Take a look at this list of classrooms in low-income communities that need your help with supplies. Many of the kids in these classes live below the poverty line and some suffer from homelessness.

3. Demand Our Most Vulnerable Children Receive a Quality Education

Inequities in educational funding, resources and opportunities have placed poor and minority children in low-performing schools. Urge your member of Congress to make educating vulnerable youth a priority.

4. Volunteer at Your Local Food Bank

Gather your friends and family and give back over the holidays by volunteering at your local food bank.

5. Donate New Children’s Clothing to a Local Shelter or Salvation Army

Homeless children receive mostly used goods, and while anything that you can give is appreciated, consider donating new clothing and backpacks to a kid in need.

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