60 Minutes: The Tragedy Of Homeless Children

I just sat on my sofa Sunday evening and cried, counting each of my many blessings. I know that the economy was pulled back from the brink of a massive depression by the stimulus bill, as milquetoasty as it was. But no one can possibly argue looking at these kids, who deserve so much better than fate has handed them, that the recovery has been nearly enough and we simply MUST have a jobs program to put people back to work.

Unemployment continues to hover around nine percent and job creation is so slow, it'll be years before we get back the seven and a half million jobs lost in the Great Recession. American families have been falling out of the middle class in record numbers.

The combination of lost jobs and millions of foreclosures means a lot of folks are homeless and hungry for the first time in their lives. One of the consequences of the recession that you don't hear much about is the record number of children descending into poverty. The government considers a family of four to be impoverished if they take in less than $22,000 a year. Based on that standard, and the government projections of unemployment, it is estimated that the poverty rate for kids in this country will soon hit 25 percent.

As we first reported last March, those children would be the largest American generation to be raised in hard times since the Great Depression.

In Seminole County, near Orlando, Fla., so many kids have lost their homes that school busses now stop at dozens of cheap motels where families crowd into rooms, living week to week.

I can't be callous and Randian and write these children off as moochers. In these most critical moments of brain and personality development, these children know hunger, instability and violence. Some, like Destiny's older brother, quit school to find work to help the family. Will his own future be permanently compromised by quitting school? Does that cycle of poverty ever get broken?

Add to that the twist of the knife of having Rick Scott as Governor. These children are nothing more than collateral damage to him.


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