Homeless Children – Across the Nation and Here in Baltimore


homeless (Photo credit: Bagunçêiro)

Across the nation, The National Alliance to End Homelessness reports that approximately 550,000 unaccompanied, single young adults (up to age 24) experience a homelessness episode longer than one week – and while it’s difficult to track homeless youth, it is estimated that 380,000 are under 18 years old.  Here at home, the number of Baltimore City Public School students identified as homeless doubled between 2008 – 2013; with 2,716 homeless students identified in the 2012-13 school year.

Children are considered homeless when they lack a fixed, regular and adequate night-time place of residence including:

  • Sharing housing of other persons due to the loss of housing, economic hardship or “doubled-up”
  • Living in a supervised publicly or privately operated emergency transitional shelter
  • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to lack of alternative, adequate accommodations
  • Living in vehicles, on the street, in abandoned buildings or any private or public space not designed as regular sleeping accommodations
  • Unaccompanied youth, a student who is not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian

The following video (3:55) is a compelling story* of a young woman who was homeless for three years.  Jessica shares her experience of being homeless in Baltimore, including her choice to stay in an abandoned house rather than at local shelters.  Jessica describes the challenges of going to school while facing the day-to-day challenges of keeping herself and her clothes clean, finding places to sleep and food to eat:

Jessica’s Story

The following local organizations provide resources for youth who are homeless or at-risk for homelessness:

  • Loving Arms, Inc. – provides education and support services including shelter care to the homeless.
  • Youth Empowered Society (YES) – a Drop-In Center for youth who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness and between ages 14-25.
  • Youth Opportunity (YO!) – provides a supportive environment offering education and career skills training opportunities for Baltimore’s youth, 16 to 24 years of age.


*Produced by Wide Angle Youth Media

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Suzanne Knizner

In my role as Project Specialist, I manage numerous virtual trainings and in-person meetings with an excellent track record of organizing and executing seamless events. I am a Wide Angle Youth Media Board Member, a non-profit organization that provides Baltimore youth with media education to their own stories, and serve as the Business Advisory Committee Chair. Read more.

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