One out of every 30 children in US is homeless
Washington: One out of every 30 children in the US is homeless, the highest rate in history and one that is due to the nation's high percentage of poverty, together with the lack of affordable housing and the impact of domestic violence.
According to the study, "America's Youngest Outcasts", released Monday by the National Centre on Family Homelessness, close to 2.5 million US children were homeless at sometime during 2013.
The figure is based on the latest count by the US Department of Education, which includes some 1.3 million homeless students in public schools plus the estimated number of homeless preschoolers.
"Children are homeless tonight in every city, county and state - in every part of our nation," Carmela DeCandia, director of the National Centre on Family Homelessness at the American Institutes for Research (AIR), which prepared the report, said.
While DeCandia acknowledges that the federal government has made certain strides in providing shelter for war veterans and chronically homeless adults, she said that homelessness among children increased by 8 percent between 2012 and 2013.
Many of the youngsters, the report says, must struggle to attend school, lose many of their classes, repeat courses and finally drop out altogether.
"Living in shelters, neighbours' basements, cars, campgrounds, and worse - homeless children are the most invisible and neglected individuals in our society," DeCandia said.
"Without decisive action now," she said, "the federal goal of ending child homelessness by 2020 will soon be out of reach."