You can change the statistics of child homelessness

Make a Columbus car donation to help

While the federal government is making progress when it comes to reducing homelessness among veterans and adults, a new report issued by the American Institutes for Research, titled “America’s Youngest Outcasts,” has brought some shocking numbers to light concerning childhood homelessness.

The report, released in November, gives eye-opening insight into the state of childhood homelessness, the statistics from previous years compared to today, and the causes behind these startling numbers.

The raw data

America's Youngest Outcasts includes data from all 50 states, as well as data for the country as a whole. Some of the more illuminating statistics included:

  • Approximately 1 out of every 30 children is homeless
  • Childhood homelessness increased by 8 percent between 2012 and 2013
  • 2.5 million children were homeless at some point in 2013
  • HUD’s annual one-day count tallied 130,515 homeless children in 2013
  • Out of all 50 states, Ohio ranked 33rd for risk of childhood homelessness, and 46th in child well-being (with 1 being best and 50 being worst)

The causes of rising child homelessness

This report also analyzed some of the factors that may be attributing to these rising numbers. Some of the biggest causes included: 

1. Continuing effects of the recession

The housing market crash in 2007 left millions of families unable to make their mortgage payments, leading to foreclosures and bankruptcies across the nation. In 2010, The Center for Responsible Lending reported that more than 6 million families lost their houses due to foreclosures.

2. Lack of affordable housing

The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) calculated that, for every 100 low income households looking to rent affordable housing, only 30 units are available. The remaining percentage of families are at risk of homelessness, and must sometimes wait up to two years on a waiting list for housing assistance.

3. Difficulties burdening single mothers

The majority of homeless families in the US are headed by single mothers. In addition to feeding and caring for their children, single mothers must also find time to secure a flexible job that will allow them to afford safe housing. However, the issue is, as the NLIHC reported, “in no state can an individual working a typical 40-hour work week at the minimum wage afford a two-bedroom apartment for his or her family.

Money in a single-parent household is also incredibly thin when paying for food, medicine and a place large enough for a family. If, as a single mother, you lose your job or have a big unexpected expense (such as a car breakdown), you might not be able to pay your rent or mortgage. Suddenly, the possibility of homelessness is on the horizon.

You can help by making a Columbus car donation

At Volunteers of America, we offer affordable housing, family services, education centers and programs to help homeless children and families get the shelter and resources they need to live an independent life.

If you’d like to help, you can make a Columbus car donation. We’ll take almost anything that has a motor, including boats, RVs, motorcycles and tractors. If it not running, don’t worry, we’ll arrange free same-day towing to pick it up. What’s more, you might get more money for your vehicle as a tax-deductible donation than you would selling it privately.

Your donation will help feed and shelter homeless children in all of the Ohio communities we serve, so fill out the car donation form, or, if you have any questions, contact the Car Donation & Auction Office at 614-870-7511.