(NEW YORK) — A new report from The National Center on Family Homelessness at the American Institutes for Research found that 2.5 million American children experience homelessness each year.
The rate of childhood homelessness is at an all-time high, the report says, and has increased by eight percent nationally compared to last year. A stunning 31 states and the District of Columbia have seen child homelessness rates increase in the last year.
“Child homelessness has reached epidemic proportions in America,” Dr. Carmela DeCandia, the director of the National Center on Family Homelessness said. “Children are homeless tonight in every city, county and state — in every part of our nation.”
The report also ranked the states using grades in four categories — extent of child homelessness, well-being of the children, risk for family homelessness and policy responses undertaken. Minnesota received the best grades, with Nebraska, Massachusetts, Iowa and New Jersey rounding out the top five. Meanwhile Alabama received the worst ranking, with Mississippi and California joining them at the bottom of the list.
The report lists the national poverty rate, a lack of affordable housing and the ongoing impact of the Great Recession among the main causes of childhood homelessness.
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