Homelessness shows no prejudice and can happen to all types of people from all walks of life. Families with children account for nearly half of the total homeless population in Indianapolis each year. Any series of unfortunate events could cause a family to become homeless.:
- Young mothers with children flee a domestic violence situation.
- Persistent medical problem leads to unemployment.
- An unexpected fire takes everything a family owns.
- Or, a family has simply fallen on hard times.
Homelessness is growing in Indianapolis especially for families with children. On any given night, over 3,700 children are homeless in central Indiana. Poverty and the lack of affordable housing are cited as the principal causes of family homelessness.
Effects on Families
Homelessness is devastating for families. It disrupts virtually every aspect of family life and can tear families apart. From the 150 families seeking assistance at Dayspring Center each year:
- 60% are single mothers with two children under the age of 5
- 10% are single fathers with their children
- 30% are two parent families with 2 or more children
- 60% are working but earn less than $5,600 a year
Effects on Children
- Homeless children are twice as likely to be in fair to poor health.
- They have higher rates of asthma and ear infections.
- They are more likely to have stomach, speech and mental health problems.
- They are less likely to be immunized.
- They are twice as likely to know hunger.
- They are four times as likely to fall behind their school peers in education and social development.
Dayspring Center believes in family and works to keep the family intact so they may work together to end their homelessness. In addition to meeting their basic needs, Dayspring also empowers parents and children with the life skills and tools needed to affect permanent change so they may become a healthy, independent family again.