What happens to the youngest among us when they have no stable place to live?
Today, the portion of the
that is most rapidly increasing
in America consists of children.
Urgent Need: PlaySpaces needs volunteers! Click here for details.
Family homelessness is on the rise here and nationally.
The predominantly cited reason leaving children without a home is economic, mainly a lack of housing affordable to the lowest incomes among us.
On any given night in Evansville and Vanderburgh County presently, at least 400 people are homeless and temporarily residing in emergency shelters and transitional housing programs. One-third are children. (This number does not include those who are sheltered in motels or “doubled up” by temporarily living with friends or family.)
The Urban Institute estimated in 2000 that 1.35 million children will experience homelessness in a given year. The number of children and youth in homeless situations (PreK -12) identified by the U.S. Department of Education increased from approximately 841,700 in 1997 to 930,000 in 2000.
Local children are part of those numbers as well, especially the youngest community members among us.
The 2000 Homeless Survey conducted by Aurora, Inc. reported that, of the 3,051 households that sought homeless services, 37% had a total of 1,626 children. The 1,626 children ranged in ages from infants to 2 young adults in their early 20s. Of that number, 797 (49%) were ages 0 – 5 years.
“Young children without homes have different experiences from young children growing up with a stable place to live,” according to Horizons for Homeless Children.
“They may not receive the types of support and stimulation that young children require to develop in typical ways. Parents may not be in the position to provide that stimulation and support because they are focused on meeting the basic requirements of daily living. Both children and parents without homes are typically living with severe stress and lack of resources. These two factors alone may make the child and parent more vulnerable to problems in development and parenting.”
Evansville's project is featured on Horizons for Homeless Children's website: A PlaySpace Grows in Indiana
4C of Southern Indiana
PlaySpaces is a project related to "Destination: Home"
This project serves to "Improve Access and Coordination of services for Specialized Populations," one of the plan's strategies.
See the ten-year plan at