Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Back to school homeless

There are federal mandates and some stimulus funds, but not nearly enough to keep up with this heartbreaking problem.

According to a National Center on Family Homelessness (NCFH) Fact Sheet published in April 2008, there are more homeless women and children living in the U.S. than in any other industrialized nation. Even if you already knew that, it's still shocking to read in a New York Times story by Erik Eckholm, "Surge in Homeless Children Strains School Districts," that in spring 2009 more than 1 million American children were homeless.

The number is going up. Estimates are that the count of homeless children has risen by 75 to 100 percent over the past two years as a result of family job losses and mortgage foreclosures, and will continue to rise at accelerated rates. This is bad news not just for parents and children but for school districts.

The stresses of homelessness tell not only on the children and their parents, but also on schools. School districts financially strapped by the economic downturn and other factors lack resources to help a child who couldn't do his homework before falling asleep alongside his parents in the family car the previous night, or who is continually shuttled from relatives' homes to a room in a motel to a campground tent.

Under the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, first voted into law in 2001, districts are required to take specific steps on behalf of children who become homeless. The purpose is to minimize interruptions of their schooling and cut red tape that could bar or delay their entrance into appropriate programs. McKinney-Vento has "closed destructive gaps in schooling," say the sources Eckholm cites. But even with some Congressional funding to aid compliance, school districts already financially strapped by the recession and other factors are finding it harder to meet needs specified in the federal mandate as the numbers of homeless children increase.

1 comment:

N8 said...

This is the fallout from government interference in the private sector. It is the infuriating fruits of grotesque collusion between the Federal Reserve, the Treasury and our elected legislators.

They kicked us in the balls, then as we were curled up on the ground, offered us a complimentary castration to ease the pain.

When Barney Frank & Co began drafting legislation that not only allowed but incentivized lenders to relax their guidelines to the consumer public, his actions triggered a sweeping series of events that have now culminated in this massive wave of homelessness. He and those like him are culpable for the ruined lives of our fellow citizens in the same way and at the same level of causality as a crack dealer creates addicts. They orchestrated this "crisis" by tempting us; we allowed it to happen by taking the bait. (And it's not the first time.)

So, now that the anti-capitalist, big-government collectivists have engineered a financial neutron bomb and left behind all these destitute casualties like the kids in your article, they will point to the human suffering and use it as a PR platform for growing government even more. They will say, "Let's crank up the welfare machine! These poor folks need help! We must raise taxes and increase spending!" This will result in government syphoning off even more of what money the public still has to maintain residences and fuel industry, so there will be less consumer confidence, less profitability and less jobs, while simultaneously more Americans will grow up being more dependent upon the debilitating providence of the state.

Charity is a sacred moral obligation, but it is an empty gesture unless engaged in voluntarily. This is why welfare should be rendered through social and religious organizations supported by the contributions of their constituents. It is NOT the prerogative of the state to commandeer private resources in the name of domestic humanitarian aid. All that does is obviate the need for the citizenry to learn how to be Christlike on their own, or how to be at all responsible with money... which, according to scripture, is expected of believers.

I say if you want to help folks who are in need, give them whatever resources you are able, then claim them as dependents on your taxes! At least that way, you can manage the process directly, and in so doing, avoid watching the money being wasted on it's way through notoriously inefficient government agencies.

Does that make sense?