Homeless Families

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Dr. Lauren Schofield

Each week I reach out to our community and to those communities across the country reporting information that can change lives or improve our health on the Wellness 411 Show live on Tuesdays at 4:30 on WCHE1520.

I will discuss today the t.v. show, “60 minutes” on CBS, as I was drawn in by a story called “Hard Times Generation”.  Time has carried us into uncharted territory.  The Great Recession began in December 2007……. Almost 1500 days ago.  Now more than 16 million children are now living in poverty and, for many of them, a proper home is elusive. 

Families in the last year or so have been staying with relatives until the parent(s) find work.  Others move into a motel or homeless shelters.  But as the “60 minutes” reporter of this segment found……. Now those options are running out, leaving an even more desperate choice: living in their cars.

 

Never has unemployment been so high, for so long.  As a result, kids are living in poverty… one third is in the state of Florida which is where this segment of “60 minutes” was reporting.  I was amazed by the statistics, the coverage of these families, the positive outlook of these children and the fear that I felt of the long term impact on our society. 

If you get a moment, watch the full story online.  I hope you are as touched as I was. 

Locally there is much you can do to make a difference…There are 12 shelters in Chester County alone, they are:

City Gate Shelter, Coatesville

Community, Youth and Women’s Alliance, Coatesville

Domestic Violence Center, West Chester

Friends Association, West Chester

His Mission, Kennett Square

Safe Harbor of West Chester

St. Mary’s Franciscan Shelter, Phoenixville

W.C. Atkinson’s Men’s Shelter, Coatesville

Good Samaritan Shelter, Phoenixville

Building Bridges Program, West Chester

St. Agnes Day Room, West Chester

Valley Forge REACT, Berwyn

Please support one of these shelters by going online and calling to see what they need this holiday season.

As the 15 year old girl in the “60 minutes” piece named Arielle Metzger said is one threat to her family is idleness, so they fill their days with every free and normal thing… So after school they “drive their truck to a library because they have computers that we can use… and a light. Education means everything to us.”  She plans to be a child defense lawyer.  “If I focus on my studies I have that opportunity.”

         The American Dream is durable and there is something about growing up in that truck that makes you believe in it all the more.

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