Implications: Short & Long Term
According to the Family Housing Fund publication, Homelessness and its Effect on Children, it states:
• Homeless children are not simply at risk; most suffer specific physical, psychological, and emotional damage.
• Homelessness influences every facet of a child’s life.
• From conception to young adulthood, the experience of homelessness inhibits the physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and behavioral development of children.
• By the time homeless children reach school age, their homelessness affects their social, physical, and academic lives
• Young children who are homeless are often separated from their parents, which can cause long-term negative effects such as developmental delays.
Homeless children consistently exhibit more health problems than housed poor children.
• Children born into homelessness are more likely to have low birth weights and are at greater risk of death.
• Homeless children begin to demonstrate significant developmental delays after 18 months of age, which are believed to influence later behavioral and emotional problems.
• Homeless children are confronted with stressful and traumatic events that they often are too young to understand, leading to severe emotional distress.
• Homeless children’s academic performance is hampered both by their poor cognitive development and by the circumstances of their homelessness, such as constant mobility.