Thursday, March 12, 2009

Florida's Homeless Children

Discussion has been prevalent this week about the rise of homeless children in the United States. A report was issued by the National Center on Family Homelessness that ranked states according to factors affecting children including well-being, risk and state policies @ According to this report, Florida ranked 43rd with 50th being the worst ranking. In Florida, about 50,000 children have been listed as homeless or without permanent housing and almost half of these children are young school children ranging from kindergarten to eighth grade. Locally, 115 percent more homeless families have been recorded in Lee county than a year earlier. Children's lives are severely impacted when living in these conditions and not surprisingly children living without a permanent home are more likely to have problems with emotions, health, academics, and violence.

Here at Southwest Florida Outreach Ministry this report really comes as no big surprise. We serve children and their families at the Outreach Center and Food Bank every day with things like food, clothing, and emergency assistance for housing and utilities. Over the past eighteen months we have watched the need for our services skyrocket. Children are a large and important part of the population we serve. Last month we served 824 Adults and 577 Children. We also provide referrals to other services in the community. Although our organization is small, we are determined to do our part in changing lives one day at a time for children and families in crisis. Contact us anytime if you are interested in volunteering or making a food, clothing ,or financial donation toward ending childhood hunger and homelessness.

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