News stories from across the country this week seemed to point to a growing epidemic of youth homelessness.
In New Hampshire a letter to the editor (aptly) titled “In Claremont, 1 in 10 kids is homeless – Is New Hampshire really okay with that?” called for more funding for youth programs. Headed out west, in Green Bay, WI another piece reports a 20 percent increase over last year in the number of school-aged kids experiencing homelessness.
How can we let this happen? I think most people agree that youth homelessness is a problem that just plain shouldn’t exist.
It’s time to take action. Unfortunately, there is just not enough data on youth homelessness – and we can’t solve a problem unless we fully understand it.
Luckily (!) we’re here to help! The Alliance president, Nan Roman, along with executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness will hold a webinar on Monday, November 8 at 2 p.m. ET going over strategies to acquire an accurate homeless youth count. We know they’re out there, we know we can help, and now it’s time to figure out how. Join us for our webinar on Monday – register here.
Another buzz topic this week was the prevalence of homelessness in rural areas. Folks in rural North Carolina and North Dakota are proclaiming “Homelessness is here.” The prevalence of rural homelessness can come as a surprise, even to those in the communities themselves. Homelessness in rural areas can actually be harder than homelessness in more urban areas – many rural areas have fewer services and higher rates of poverty than urban areas. This may be one reason that unsheltered homelessness occurs at a slightly higher incidence in rural areas than in urban areas.
Sleeping on the streets anywhere in this country is a horrible experience, but sleeping on the streets of Alaska is becoming increasingly deadly, or so says Sen. Mark Begich. The senator from Alaska reports that 20 people have died while sleeping outside in the last few months; he’s asked the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness for help to address the growing problem.