Thursday, July 5, 2012

Kentucky Ranked High on Homelessness

According to a recent report on the number of homeless children in the United States from the National Center on Family Homelessness, 40,000 children in Kentucky did not have a home in 2010. This puts Kentucky at the highest amount of children experiencing homelessness in the United States behind Oregon. 

Michael Hurysz, with the Northern Kentucky Development District, says that despite the increase in child homelessness, family homelessness has stayed about the same, due to funding that helped families find homes.

Regardless, however, public school districts are faced with a growing amount of students that do not have a permanent place to live. Boone County reported 469 students, Kenton County reported 854 students, and Campbell County reported 324 students that were experiencing homelessness. 

Lack of permanent housing includes anyone who does not have a “regular and adequate nighttime residence,” according to the McKinney-Vento Act. This includes students living in motels, hotels, tents, cars, public places, “doubled up” or “couch surfing.” Many students have been living in one room motels sleeping on two small beds and the floor, living there for months at a time. The number of students living with their grandparents is also on the rise as well. 

The homelessness that these young students are facing, leads them to be susceptible to disadvantages such as hunger, illness, and academic faltering. Action needs to be taken in Kentucky in order to ensure that the issue of homelessness does not get any worse and effect the people of our future any more.

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