[Hpn] YOUNG VOICES =?ISO-8859-1?B?rQ==?= SPEAK OUT ON POVERTY & HOMELESSNESS HOMELESSNESS

chance martin streetsheet@sf-homeless-coalition.org
Fri, 01 Dec 2000 14:47:20 -0700


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information contact:
Paul Boden,     (415) 346-3740
Kim McMillon,  (510) 525-3948

WHAT:  YOUNG VOICES ­ SPEAK OUT ON POVERTY & HOMELESSNESS

WHO:    EVENT SPONSORS
            San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness, National Coalition for
the Homeless, Mayorıs Office of Homelessness, Department of Children, Youth
& Their Families, A Home Away From Homelessness, Homeless Childrenıs
Network, Eller Media, DrawBridge, Creative Arts Book Company, Borders
Bookstores, POOR Magazine, Stay-in-School Family Resource Center, St.
Josephıs Village, Homeless Prenatal Program, Musicians Union Local 6, San
Francisco Unified School District-Office of Parent Relations,
CB-Solutions.net, McKesson

WHY:    CREATE AWARENESS OF THE ISSUE OF HOMELESS CHILDREN
             Introduce A Homeless Curriculum into the San Francisco
             School System

WHEN:   SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2ND
              11-5:00 PM

WHERE:  MISSION HIGH SCHOOL (3750 18TH STREET) IN SAN FRANCISCO

COST:     FREE    

(San Francisco, CA) December 1, 2000 --  On Saturday, December 2nd, YOUNG
VOICES ­ SPEAK OUT ON POVERTY & HOMELESSNESS will put a face on the issue of
homeless children.  YOUNG VOICES is the beginning of a campaign to create an
awareness on what is happening to our homeless youth. This event is free to
the public, and will take place at Mission High School (3750 18th Street) in
San Francisco from 11:00 AM ­ 5:00 PM.  For more information, call (510)
525-3948.

Children and youth, local educators, community leaders, politicians, and
homeless advocates will address the issue of children and families that are
homeless. Guest speakers include:  Sandy Close, the Director of Pacific News
Service; Barbara Duffield, the Director of Education for the National
Coalition for the Homeless; Carla Javits, the Director of the Corporation
for Supportive Housing; Jerri Cohen, the Homeless Education Coordinator for
West Contra Costa Unified School District; and Arlene Ackerman, the
Superintendent of Schools for the San Francisco School District.  YOUNG
VOICES will also include a workshop to give the public an understanding of a
school curriculum created by the National Coalition for the Homeless. Local
performers will also lend their support to this day of awareness.   Planned
activities include: a mini carnival, food, workshops, giveaways, art
activities, dental checks performed by UCSF, School of Dentistry Community
Service Groups, and service providers for families and children in need.

The San Francisco Mayorıs Office of Housing estimates that there are between
11,000 and 14,000 homeless people in San Francisco on any given night. The
goal is to reduce these figures through education, and working with the
homeless community to create positive change.

The statistics and information listed below were gathered by the National
Coalition for the Homeless.

How is Homelessness harmful to Children?
Homeless children go hungry twice as often as other children.  They miss
meals because there isnıt enough food for the whole family, or sometimes
there is no food at all.

Most homeless children live with their mothers.  The constant stress of
finding food and shelter causes many mothers to become sick and to have
mental health problems.  Mothers may also have been abused by a husband or
boyfriend, which can have serious long-lasting effects.  For most children,
fears of being separated from their home or family are only the stuff of
nightmares.  This is not so for children who are homeless.  In fact, 22% of
homeless children live apart from their immediate family at some point.  As
homeless children get older, they are more likely to be separated from their
families.

How do Children become homeless?
Most often, children become homeless because their parents do.  There are
many reasons why parents become homeless, but most important are the
shortage of low-cost housing and the growing number of families living in
poverty.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that although the number of poor people in
the U.S. has remained about the same in recent years (about 13% of the
population), more children are living in extreme poverty.  Because of
important changes in the U.S. economy and in government policy toward poor
families, children now account for 40% of poor people, almost twice as many
as any other age group.

How Many Children are Homeless?
For many reasons, itıs hard to count the exact number of homeless children.
Homelessness tends to be temporary.  The number of homeless people is always
changing as some people find housing while new people become homeless. Based
on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Urban Institute estimates that 1.35
million children are homeless during a yearıs time, representing 39% of the
overall homeless population.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, at least one-fifth of
homeless children do not go to school.  Some schools donıt allow homeless
children to register without school and medical records.  Many schools wonıt
enroll children without a home address.

Through education, we can teach compassion, and understanding about a
subject that is having a devastating effect on our society.

####

-- 
Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco
468 Turk St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
415/346.3740 - voice
415/7755639 - fax
coh@sfo.com
http://www.sfo.com/~coh