Report Shows NJ Children at Risk of Homelessness

NJ Can do More Regarding Policy and Planning

Report Shows NJ Children at Risk of HomelessnessOn November 17, 2014, the National Center on Family Homelessness released the report, “America’s Youngest Outcasts.”

The report includes a report card, which ranks each state. New Jersey received an overall ranking of second best regarding children’s homelessness.

But in breaking down this ranking which was based on the composite for four “domains”: New Jersey ranked only 18th regarding state policy and planning and 20th for risk of child homelessness showing that there is room for improvement.

Across the country, one in every thirty children will be homeless and 2.5 million children experience homelessness – that number is a record high.

The report found a variety of reasons for homelessness among children including:

  • Continuing impact of the “Great Recession”,
  • Lack of affordable housing,
  • Racial disparities,
  • Challenges of single parenting,
  • Traumatic experiences such as domestic violence

But there is a solution – safe, affordable housing with critical support services i.e. education, job training, transportation, childcare, mental health services and parenting supports.

In The Washington Post’s November 17 Post Nation blog coverage of the report’s release, Emily Wax- Thibodeaux wrote:

“The report also says that the federal government has made widespread efforts to reduce homelessness among chronically homeless individuals and veterans, and these efforts “have shown significant progress.”

But it warns:

‘Children and families have not received the same attention—and their numbers are growing,’ it says. ‘Without decisive action and the allocation of sufficient resources, the nation will fail to reach the stated federal goal of ending family homelessness by 2020, and child homelessness may result in a permanent Third World in America.’”

Click here for the report.

Click here for the state-by-state report card.

Click here for the blog post.