Homelessness in the United States--Data and Issues

By Jamshid A. Momeni | Go to book overview

8
Homeless Children and Their Caretakers

Sonjia Parker Redmond and Joan Brackmann

Over the past decade, the social problem of homelessness has received much attention by the public and human service professionals. The economic downturn of the late seventies and early eighties and inadequate federal housing policies have coalesced to create a situation in the eighties where not only transients and "societal drop outs" are homeless, but also thousands of long-term workers and their families are without permanent domiciles as well. The estimate regarding the number of people who are homeless varies. Estimates from the National Coalition for the Homeless suggest that between 3 and 4 million people in the United States are homeless, while government figures seldom approach 1 million ( Kozol, 1988).

Among these homeless persons is a group that is especially vulnerable because of their lack of political power, the children. It has been estimated that homeless children number over 500,000 and that small children represent the fastest growing segment of the homeless ( National Coalition for the Homeless, 1987). Homeless families are estimated to be as high as 25 percent of the overall homeless population, with 94 percent of the families consisting of single mothers with two to three children ( Bassuk, Rubin, and Lauriat, 1986). While much attention has been devoted to the survival of homeless adults, much less attention has been paid to the plight of homeless children. This study contributes to the available knowledge in this area by examining the socioenvironmental factors related to homelessness among children as well as the socioemotional impact of such homelessness upon their lives. It examines mother-child relationships as well as attitudes, impressions, and concerns of their professional caretakers in shelter situations.

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Homelessness in the United States--Data and Issues
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figure and Tables ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • Introduction xvii
  • 1: Counting the Homeless 1
  • Conclusion 13
  • References 15
  • 2: A Sociodemographic Profile of the Service-Using Homeless: Findings from a National Survey 17
  • References 36
  • 3: Food Sources and Intake of Homeless Persons 39
  • References 60
  • 4: Drug Abuse among Homeless People 61
  • References 76
  • 5: Homelessness as a Long-Term Housing Problem in America 81
  • References 90
  • 6: A Social-Psychiatric Perspective on Homelessness: Results from a Pittsburgh Study 95
  • Conclusions 107
  • References 108
  • References 108
  • References 108
  • 7: Sweat and Blood: Sources of Income on a Southern Skid Row 111
  • References 121
  • 8: Homeless Children and Their Caretakers 123
  • References 132
  • 9: Programs Dealing with Homelessness in the United States, Canada, and Britain 133
  • Conclusions 150
  • Acknowledgments 151
  • References 151
  • 10: Public Policies for Reducing Homelessness in America 153
  • Conclusion 163
  • Note 163
  • References 163
  • 11: No Place to Go: A National Picture of Homelessness in America 165
  • References 182
  • Select Bibliography 185
  • Index 191
  • About the Contributors 195
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