Homeless Children: America’s Contribution to the Orphan Crisis Part 2

In my home town, it was discovered that there were at least 1,500 high school students who were homeless. In a town of 200,000 plus, I would think that to be a significant number. Tracking the reasons why this has happened is still in the works; but the use of the “O”  (orphan) word seems not to be popular in these parts. Abandoned, is not used. Homeless is the “in” word. More drama? I don’t know. Whatever you want to call it, it is pathetic. They sleep where they can; usually friends house or the garage of a friend. Rescue shelters do not take in children under the age of 18. (Unless they are female and accompanied by their mother). There are few if any shelters who take in single fathers and their sons who are under 18.

In the United States, married adults now divorce two-and-a-half times as often as adults did 20 years ago and four times as often as they did 50 years ago… between 40% and 60% of new marriages will eventually end in divorce. The probability within… the first five years is 20%, and the probability of its ending within the first 10 years is 33%… Perhaps 25% of children ages 16 and under live with a stepparent. (Wikipedia 5/2009)

Prior to the 1970s, divorcing spouses had to allege that the other spouse was guilty of a crime or sin like abandonment or adultery; when spouses simply could not get along, lawyers were forced to manufacture “uncontested” divorces. The no-fault divorce revolution began in 1969 in California; South Dakota was the last state to include no-fault divorce, in 1985. State law provides for child support where children are involved, and sometimes for. The median length for a marriage in the US today is 11 years with 90% of all divorces being settled out of court. (Wikipedia 2/2010)

School teachers many times are not aware of a child homelessness immediately. As this homelessness situation continues, certain tell-tale traits appear. Extreme drowsiness, inattentiveness, dirty clothing and absent quality hygienic practices. As far as I have read into this subject, our society has not come close to addressing this problem with any vigor.


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