I just read an article that is absolutely heartbreaking. We all know homelessness exists, but do we really think about it? This article opened my eyes and now I am brainstorming on what I can do…how can I make a difference?
From the NPR article (source):
More than 1.1 million public school students in the United States do not have permanent homes, according to data compiled by the Department of Education.
California has the highest rate of homeless children enrolled in schools anywhere in the country. Many kids live in the shadows — in cheap motels, emergency shelters, campgrounds and even cars, like James once did.
The battered Taurus station wagon was once home to James, his three siblings and his mother.
“Since the car is so short and me and my older brother [are] too big for [it], sometimes we’d put our feet up against the dashboard,” James explains. “Or sometimes just sleep on our backs and then just have our knees bent upward.”
While the kids curled up in the back and passenger seat, their mother would sleep in the driver’s seat, sitting up.
“I remember sitting in my car while all the kids were sleeping,” says Elizabeth, James’ mom. “I could hear their breath, you know.”
Elizabeth is a domestic violence victim. NPR is not using her last name because she still fears for her safety. She says she and her children felt safer together in a car and on the move than in a shelter.
“You just cry,” she says. “And you don’t want to cry too loud, because you don’t want to wake up the kids.” Because in the morning, they had to go to school.
Please read the full article here