"Homeless children are confronted by stressful and traumatic events that they often are too young to understand, leading to severe emotional distress."

Over 92% of homeless mothers have experienced severe or physical and/or sexual abuse during their lifetime; 63% report that this abuse was perpetrated by an intimate partner; 32% report that they have been the target of severe violence by their current or most recent partner; and almost 27% reported needing medical treatment because of a partner's violence.

Child homelessness increased by 8% nationally from 2012 to 2013.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development conducts an annual one-day count of homeless people that encompasses shelters, as well as parks, underpasses, vacant lots and other locales. Its latest count, for a single night in January 2013, tallied 610,042 homeless people, including 130,515 children.

  • Homeless families are almost always headed by a single woman who on average is in her late 20's with approximately two children, one or both under 6 years of age;
  • Families at greatest risk of homelessness, as well as poverty in general, belong to ethnic minority groups;
  • Homelessness is highly linked to family separations, including foster care and involvement with child welfare services;
  • 47% have problems such as anxiety, depression, and withdrawal compared to 18% of other school aged children;
  • 36% manifest delinquent or aggressive behavior, compared to 17% of other school age children.


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