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Facts about Homelessness

Nationally, one in 45 children experience homelessness each year.

While homeless, they experience high rates of acute and chronic health problems. The constant barrage of stressful and traumatic experiences also has profound effects on their development and ability to learn - from poor nutrition that starves growing minds to high rates of school absenteeism.

Children experiencing homelessness are sick four times more often than other children.

  • They have four times as many respiratory infections
  • Twice as many ear infections
  • Five times more gastrointestinal problems
  • And are four times more likely to have asthma

Children experiencing homelessness also go hungry at twice the rate of other children. They have high rates of obesity due to nutritional deficiencies, and they have three times the rate of emotional and behavioral problems as non-homeless children.

Experiences of Violence

Violence plays a major role in the lives of homeless children.

By age 12, 83% of homeless children have been exposed to at least one serious violent event. That's more than 3 out of every 4 homeless child, experiencing a serious violent event before the seventh grade.

Additionally, almost 25% of homeless children have witnessed acts of violence within their families.

Developmental Milestones and Academic Performance

Due to the overwhelming number of nutritional, health-related, and life-altering unstable events, children experiencing homelessness are four times more likely to show delayed development and twice as likely to have learning disabilities as non-homeless children.

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