Pages tagged "Poverty & Family Economics"
By Marjorie Cortez
The numbers of chronically homeless Utahns are so low, service providers and government officials know them by name. And family homelessness is down 10 percent from a year ago, a new state report says.
But the report also indicates the number of homeless Utah schoolchildren increased slightly from a year ago and notes a wide disparity between the homeless counts led by the state Department of Workforce Services and that of the Utah State Office of Education...
Washington – Advocates for homeless children and youth say the annual estimate of homelessness in the United States released today by the Department of Housing and Urban Development is misleading and underestimates family and youth homelessness.
HUD’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report Part II, an estimate and description of homeless Americans presented each year to Congress, reported 517,416 sheltered families with children (including both children and adults) in 2014, a 9.3 percent increase from 2007.
In contrast, the Department of Education identified 1,360,747 homeless children and youth in the 2013-2014 school year, a 100.2 percent increase from the 2006-2007 school year.
HUD’s estimates focus on shelter occupancy, which is inappropriate for families and youth because:
- HUD measures capacity, not need: Shelters are often full, and many communities do not have shelters, or have shelters that are appropriate for the needs families or youth. Unaccompanied youth may avoid adult shelters because of safety concerns.
- HUD does not look in the places most homeless families and youth can be found: Homeless families and youth are less likely than single adults to stay on the streets and other outdoor locations. They are less likely to sleep in bus stations, parks, etc. because they fear referrals to child protective services. Unaccompanied youth can face victimization on the streets. Families and youth are much more likely to stay temporarily with other people, or in motels. But HUD does not consider these homeless children and youth to be homeless, and makes no effort to count them.
Department of Education data includes children and youth in these hidden locations, which are unstable and very often unsafe. HUD excludes these children and youth in its estimates and fails to prioritize their needs. But Congress is considering a bipartisan bill, the Homeless Children and Youth Act (S. 256, H.R. 576), requiring HUD to adopt a more accurate definition of homelessness and make homeless children and youth eligible for the same assistance available to homeless adults.
The First Focus Campaign for Children, the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, and the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare released the following statements in response to HUD’s release:
“Homeless children count, but the housing department does not count all homeless children in its annual estimates, “said Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus Campaign for Children. The report is a missed opportunity to identify and prioritize our homeless children. Americans deserve better, especially when it comes to fighting family homelessness. This is a desperate situation, and the first step we must take is to pass the Homeless Children and Youth Act.”
“The nation’s public schools have witnessed a persistent increase in the numbers of homeless children and youth over the past decade,” said Barbara Duffield, Director of Policy and Programs for the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth. “To categorize these children and youth as merely ‘housing insecure,’ as does today’s report, both mischaracterizes their living situations and implies that they are less vulnerable than other homeless children and youth. Nothing could be further from the truth. The urgency of child and youth homelessness requires an alignment of federal definitions of homelessness.”
“The AHAR is simply a report of how many homeless people are contacted through an impressive, elaborate street outreach effort conducted once a year through the Point in Time events nationwide,” said Ruth White, executive director of National Center for Housing and Child Welfare. “The obvious discrepancy between the AHAR numbers and what any provider, public school employee, or American who regularly walks down a city street can see with their own eyes, calls into question the need for the AHAR and indeed, the purpose of the PIT counts.”
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The First Focus Campaign for Children is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization affiliated with First Focus, a bipartisan children’s advocacy organization. The Campaign for Children advocates directly for legislative change in Congress to ensure children and families are the priority in federal policy and budget decisions. For more information, visit www.campaignforchildren.org.
NAEHCY is a national grassroots membership association dedicated to ensuring the school enrollment, attendance, and overall success for children and youth whose lives have been disrupted by the lack of safe, permanent and adequate housing. For more information, see www.naehcy.org.
The National Center for Housing and Child Welfare (NCHCW) links housing resources and knowledge to child welfare agencies in order to improve family functioning, prevent family homelessness, and reduce the need for out-of-home placement. NCHCW also brings housing resources to child welfare agencies in order to ensure that older youth in foster care have a connection to permanent family as well as a solid plan for stable housing and services to help them be successful as adults.
Child poverty in the U.S. remains high, with 15.5 million (21.1 percent of children) living below the poverty line in 2014. Children continue to disproportionately experience poverty in our society – while they make up 23 percent of the total population, they comprise 33 percent of people living in poverty.
Introduced by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the Child Poverty Reduction Act would establish a national target to reduce the number of children living in poverty in America by half in ten years and eliminating child poverty in twenty years, as well as institute a process to identify the most effective interventions to meet this target.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) was named a 2015 Champion of Children by the First Focus Campaign for Children.
Portman was recognized for his leadership on issues important to the health and well-being of children including improving the foster care system and protecting vulnerable Ohio children from human traffickers...
Child poverty in the United States remains high, with 15.5 million (21.1 percent of children) living below the poverty line in 2014. Though the poverty rate for all age groups has gone up in recent years, the child poverty rate is significantly higher.
The Child Poverty Reduction Act (H.R. 2408, S. 2224) would establish a national target to reduce the number of children living in poverty in America by half in ten years and eliminate child poverty in 20 years, as well as institute a process to identify the most effective interventions to meet this target.
Over 250 organizations have endorsed the Child Poverty Reduction Act of 2015 (H.R. 2408, S. 2224). The bill seeks to create a national child poverty target, with the overall goal of halving child poverty in the United States in ten years and completely eliminating it within twenty.
I stand with @Campaign4Kids and the 250 groups that support the Child Poverty Reduction Act of 2015: http://bit.ly/1LLqw9S #InvestInKids
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Washington – Over 250 leading children, family, and poverty advocacy organizations endorsed today a bill that would set a national target date for the elimination of child poverty in the United States.
The Child Poverty Reduction Act (S. 2224), introduced by Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), aims to cut child poverty in half in 10 years and end child poverty in America within 20 years. A U.S. House of Representatives version of the bill (H.R. 2408) was introduced in May.
The bill is modeled after a successful policy in the United Kingdom that cut child poverty by 50 percent during the effort’s first decade. By contrast, the U.S. child poverty rate increased by 20 percent, from 16.2 percent in 2000 to 21.1 percent in 2014.
Key provisions include:
- Setting the goal to cut the U.S. child poverty rate in half within ten years and eliminate it within 20 years;
- Requesting the National Academy of Sciences assist in the development of a plan by researching the societal costs of child poverty and make non-partisan recommendations on how to reduce child poverty; and
- Tasking a working group with monitoring progress toward the target at the federal and state levels.
“We applaud Senators Casey, Baldwin, and Brown for leading the effort in Congress to end child poverty once and for all,” said Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus Campaign for Children. “One in five children in America live in poverty, and they are depending on us to move beyond hand-wringing to solving this problem.”
Ending poverty is a difficult task, but one federal government has effectively responded to before. During the 1960s, the poverty rate for the elderly was higher than for children. Federal government dramatically reduced poverty among seniors, by enacting Social Security, Medicare, tax-subsidized retirement plans, and other effective antipoverty investments. But federal government failed to make similar investments in reducing child poverty. Today, the national child poverty rate is double the poverty rate for seniors. In some states, it is close to triple.
“The federal government knows how to make real progress on poverty, and has for seniors. For kids, they just haven’t,” said Lesley. “Allowing kids to remain in poverty when we know exactly how to fix it is unconscionable.”
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The First Focus Campaign for Children is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization affiliated with First Focus, a bipartisan children’s advocacy organization. The Campaign for Children advocates directly for legislative change in Congress to ensure children and families are the priority in federal policy and budget decisions. For more information, visit campaignforchildren.org.
By Rob Ryster
U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty is among 50 lawmakers recognized by an advocacy group as a “Defender of Children.”
The group First Focus Campaign for Children chose Esty for her leadership on issues important to children during the 114th Congress in 2014 and 2015, according to a release...
National children's advocacy group calls Franken, Klobuchar, Ellison and McCollum 'Champions for Children'
By Joe Kimball
The national First Focus Campaign for Children has included four Minnesotans on a list of 50 members of Congress they call "Champions for Children."
On the list are Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, and Reps. Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum. They were cited for their "extraordinary efforts to protect and improve the future of America’s next generation."...