The Homeless Children and Youth Act (S.2653)– A Ploy or Problem Solver?

By Winnie Eke

It appeared that some people were shocked about the recent revelation and news on children’s homelessness in America. That number, one in every 30 children, is an increase from the previous number of one in 45. It is also a reminder of the systemic failure in policies on poverty in the country.

Here comes our congress with (S.2653) that expands the definition of homelessness without funding housing assistance and homeless services. Congress has also refused to acknowledge the real causes of homelessness in the country, which are the wage gap, unemployment and lack of education.

Although unemployment is improving nationwide, it has not been felt among those who are marginalized in our society. According to Gorman, wages for the middle and lower-income groups have not kept abreast of the income of the upper class. When families are poor and cannot pay the rent they become homeless. When children are on the street they go hungry, have nutritional deficiencies, are sicker than other children and more likely to have behavioral and emotional problems. In addition, these children are exposed to more violence and are likely to have learning disabilities.

Yes, there is free market and ethic of hard work. When and where does free market economy converge with our young ones? How long will it take policy makers to realize that affordable housing and policies that benefit all, especially our children are human right issues.

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