Homeless Children in NYC Nears Great Depression Levels
Nineteen thousand homeless children are currently seeking help in New York City shelters, according to new data from the city. For comparison, 20,000 children were homeless in The Big Apple during the Great Depression.
The Daily News story profiles 14-year-old Francheska Luciano who spends her nights in one of the city's shelters. She said it's "like living in hell."
Luciano, who lives in a shelter with her family, said it's particularly difficult for her younger siblings.
"They’re young, they have no childhood, they don’t sleep well," she said. "It's not fair to them."
The number of homeless children in New York has grown 18 percent in the past year (view the city's report here).
"Not since the grim days of the Great Depression has New York City had 20,000 children sleeping homeless each night," said Patrick Markee, a senior policy analyst with the Coalition for the Homeless.
The coalition said that with "no housing assistance in place to help families move out of shelter and into permanent housing, the city is on track to reach the unthinkable milestone of 20,000 homeless kids before year's end."
"Study after study show children who become homeless do worse in school as well as suffer in their physical and mental health development," a statement from the coalition reads.
There are currently 1.6 million homeless children living in the United States.
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Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
It seems odd that $60million annually is necessary to maintain the 9/11 memorial yet the city of New York allows 20,000 children to remain homeless. Do not get me wrong, I wish to remember the lives that were lost on 9/11, but at what expense? Nation wide the number is greater than 1.6million children homeless. Priorities in this country leave a lot to be addressed. Hungry and homeless children are a disgrace. This country has suffered and recovered from loss many times but the loss of our children due to neglect is unforgiveable and especially reprehensive in such an affluent country. I am a mother and grandmother and rest assured I will see to it that my children and grandchildren remember all of the good and the bad things that have happened here. God bless us all.
Don't blame it entirely on politicians (although they are out of hand in this country.) Blame it on pure American greed. Years ago, we saved and paid cash for quality, American made products. Then, unions got greedy and American made products became more and more expensive. How did companies get their sales to increase? By shipping American jobs to cheaper, foreign markets. How did the average American react? Head over heels happy. We buy, buy, buy. We get ourselves in debt. We buy houses we can't afford, luxury cars, "brand" name clothes. If we ALL went back to saving our money, paying cash for most items, purchasing homes that are sufficient (imagine, kids sharing bedrooms and families sharing bathrooms again let alone television sets - the horror!), buying quality instead of quantity, it would help this country a heck of a lot. THIS, in turn would help EVERYONE including these homeless children.
P.S. TERM LIMITS on ALL politicians from the local level right up through federal.
I empathize with the poor, the homeless and the disenfranchised, but the improvement of their lot in life does not rest solely upon what president we have or think we need. This is a matter of national priorities and it begins and ends with those who make policy and pass laws ... our Congress.
As a nation we seem to have absolutely no problem with giving unimaginable amounts of foreign aid to dozens of countries who hate us. We have no difficulty coming up with $2 Billion per week for 11 years with our senseless war in Afghastlystan'. We also have plenty of money for unwarranted incentives to 'Big Oil' and tens of $ billions that go to the corrupt and bloated military / industrial complex composed of the Halliburtons, Blackwaters, Raytheons and their ilk.
Our priorites as a country and as an ethical and moral society have been co-opted by the needs and the sheer monetary power of big corporations who literally own our 'esteemed' 100 Senators and 435 Congressmen on Capitol Hill, (should be spelled Capital Hill) to do their bidding to insure the profit-imperative at absolutely all costs.
There is plenty of money in this country, but there is little or no will for our elected criminals to do the right things with it, and as a society we should be ashamed of ourselves for allowing it to continue and condoning the misery and plight of so many other of our fellow Americans from every walk of life.
Peace to all ~
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