You may think of homelessness as a distinctly urban issue, with people sleeping in shelters or on the streets. But homelessness happens in rural communities too, and it happens to children.
The report tells the story of 10th grader Desiree and her family’s homelessness which left them living in the woods in rural New York. Their lives spiraled down into homelessness and they ended up living in a “camp” in the woods.
Unfortunately, Desiree is not alone.
“The Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that there were more than 30,000 homeless children in rural America last year, but advocates believe the actual number is much higher.
Rural areas of the country often lack the shelters and services like affordable housing and public transportation you find in cities. Instead, people pack into substandard houses, live in cars, double up with other families or bounce around from place to place. Or they live in camps outdoors, like Desiree did.”
The local community rallied around their family with financial and in-kind support and they moved into a house.
Today, Desiree appreciates the little things like a hot shower that so many of us take for granted and she is now about to look forward to a bright future.