The National Center on Family Homelessness estimates that 1.5 million children are homeless at some point each year. These kids don't survive the experience unscathed.
Homelessness often means going without medical, dental and mental health care. Imagine what this does to the developing bodies and minds of young children.
In fact, an estimated one in three homeless kids has a mental health problem that affects their functioning by age 8. Long before that, though, 75 percent of kids 4 and under have developmental delays while about 40 percent of them have emotional and/or behavioral problems. What school teachers think is a problem child might just be a child with problems, a child who is homeless.
Why? Take your pick of reasons: stress, depression, fear, hunger, sleep-deprivation, or a parent who's so stressed, depressed, scared, hungry or sleep-deprived to give kids the care and attention they need. Thankfully there's a simple solution: ending homelessness.
President Obama's Federal Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness pledges to end family homelessness by 2020. Make sure it happens.
Photo credit: Lexie Rydberg