Friday, November 5, 2010

Homeless in the US of A

When I first had the idea for my novel Address Unknown, I had some notion of the number of homeless in our country. But when I did the research, I was astounded and dismayed. Here are the facts taken from a brochure put out by the school board of Polk County, Florida. 
  • Children and families are the fastest growing subset of the homeless. They make up 40% of the homeless population. 
  • The average age of a homeless person is nine. That's right. It's not a typo. Nine!
  • The average homeless family is a  twenty year old mother with children under the age of six.
  • There are 400,000 families who are homeless and another 25 million who live with family and friends.
Polk County school system has a program, the Hearth Project, which provides assistance for homeless families and helps students have empathy for homeless students as well as giving them ideas for taking action to remedy this national problem.

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