In the United States, one in 45 children experience homelessness every year, reports American Institutes for Research (AIR). Based on this rate, it is estimated that 1.6 million children are living without a place to call home.
Of all industrialized nations, America holds the title for the highest homelessness percentage in adults and children. Homeless children face the following issues:
- They are twice as likely to go hungry than children with homes.
- They are ill four times as often than non-homeless children.
- Their emotional and behavioral problems are three times more than children who reside in homes.
- Violence, poverty and neglect play a significant role in these children’s lives, and by age 12, 83 percent of all homeless children experience some kind of violence.
These staggering statistics present alarming and dangerous consequences for these children, and our assistance is necessary. By donating time and money to specific charities, we can all play a part in lowering the number of children who suffer from homelessness. Here are three charities that make it their mission to address child homelessness:
1. StandUp for Kids
StandUp for Kids is a national nonprofit charity whose mission is to eradicate youth homelessness. Started in 1990 in San Diego, StandUp for Kids has centers all across the United States. This organization helps kids ages 13 to 25 to learn basic life skills like improving communications skills, study techniques, goal setting and behavioral management.
Additionally, in the outreach centers, they offer services that homeless children may not otherwise have access to such as meals and snacks, mail services, laundry access, education services and a computer lab so that the children have devices to study, prepare for the GED or explore the Internet. This organization also extends their reach to homeless children at night by sending trained volunteers to identify at-risk youth and offer them immediate assistance.
2. Covenant House
The mission of Covenant House is to open doors for homeless youth. Once the volunteer helps with basic needs, the plan becomes to develop a long term program. They offer holistic assistance, job training and enrollment in a charter school. One unique aspect to this national charity is that it encourages business professionals, CEOs and other high profile individuals to sleep on the streets for one night to raise awareness. These public individuals then can talk about the perils of youth living on the street.
3. The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army Started in 1867 with the primary goal to do the most good. This mission reflects the assistance that they offer to homeless families with children as well as to youth that are on the streets. They provide several services including group homes, emergency shelters and transitional living centers. Other facets of their program include combating human trafficking and setting up after-school programs for kids whose parents need to work later.
There are several ways to assist homeless children including donating your time or money to any of these organizations. We can help end homelessness in this country by extending our reach and embracing America’s children.