invisible homeless kids

Hard to imagine that in this country way over 3 MILLION kids are without homes. H-O-M-E-L-E-S-S Kids. I don't get it. Are we willing to discard these kids? Not me. So this blog will relentlessly focus on this issue, hoping to light a spark to fuel a compassion epidemic. Chime in, argue, but do something....

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Questions from ‘Mom’

Truth be told, I'm not a mom. But I feel like it when it comes to the millions of homeless kids in our country. So, taking indecent liberties with that, I'm going to ask some serious questions as a mom:

President Obama

  • You publically stated at your March 24 press conference that "I'm heartbroken that any child in America is homeless." What does that really mean when your heart is broken?
  • Does it mean that your administration is ready to change the abysmal business as usual with HUD's homelessness policies that seem bent on ignoring homeless families and teens?

HUD Secretary Donovan

  • You represent a new era at HUD, one which has been long awaited. How much attention have you paid to the pending issue of the definition of homelessness?
  • Did you notice that the definition, a hold-over from the previous administration, absolutely slams the door on a significant number of homeless families and teens on their own?
  • Do you not have a different approach to addressing this heartbreaking issue?

Nan Roman, NAEH President

  • You and your organization, the National Alliance to End Homelessness, profess a commitment to, well, ending homelessness. Why are you supporting a definition of homelessness that excludes so many children and youth, making them more invisible and less likely to get the help they need to avoid homelessness as adults?
  • The definition of homelessness that you support requires kids who in motels or doubled-up situations to move around a lot before they are considered homeless – are you unaware of the research on the impact of mobility on child development?
  • You support a definition of homelessness that considers people in motels to be permanently housed unless they only have enough money to stay for 14 days. Do you really consider a motel room a home, adequate for raising children?
  • How many families and unaccompanied youth in motels or doubled-up situations have you spoken to directly? Can you really say that they are less vulnerable than those in shelters?
  • If the same youth moves from shelter to couch to motel, are they less homeless when they land a spot on a couch or in a motel?

Kevin Chappell, Senior Editor, Ebony

  • What led up to your question posed to President Obama at the March 24 press conference about homeless children? Were you satisfied with the President's answer?
  • Are you aware of current legislative "shenanigans" that will essentially put into place a very restrictive definition of homelessness that in effect doesn't count or adequately address the unmet needs of millions of homeless families and teens?
  • What would you like to ask the President about this issue to further shine light on our nation's abysmal failure to house and care for families in poverty?

Readers and people of compassion across this nation (CLICK HERE FOR 2 1/2 min. video)

  • Since homeless families/teens are in effect being bullied by the system, are you willing to fight back on their behalf?
  • Do you think our nation needs to ensure that children, teens, families and other vulnerable people have a roof over their heads and access to help to move out of homelessness?
  • Will you step up and advocate for this to happen? (link to advocacy info)

Seems to me that it's way past time to reach way down to the most ignored populations in this country and give them a hand-up. That's what moms do every day.

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