Homeless Families? A Tragedy.
A single parent or a married couple with as many as 4 part-time jobs on minimum wage may still be living in poverty. Their “safety net has many holes in it as follows;
- access to affordable housing (20 month wait for public housing), or
- a rent voucher (35 month wait for a voucher),
- a child care voucher in order subsidize licensed, safe and healthy child care while working, (Examples of wait list for vouchers, in AZ, 6,470, in MA 30,000, in MI, 19,451)
- work hours must coordinate with available child care hours.
Homelessness of parent(s) and one or two children is an extremely traumatic experience. A parent experiences shame, confusion, loss of supporting family and friends, loss of family members and perhaps is exposed to violence. A child experiences the same, and is even more likely to experience violence.
Homeless children are likely to be malnourished and in ill health nearly 4 times more than children raised in a home. The stability of their lives is constantly interrupted. They have poor access to quality early education.
We are trapping people in poverty and homelessness. Many of us simply do not care about them because, as Pope Francis tells us, they do not have monetary potential. Those of us who care must work very hard together to build more affordable housing, and to fund more childcare, better education, nutrition and health care.