Families with children are experiencing increasing rates of homelessness throughout the country and are highly vulnerable. Most have experienced extreme poverty, residential instability, and violence, and have limited education and work histories. Homelessness is a devastating experience that significantly impacts the health and well-being of adults, youth, and children. Often, members of homeless families have experienced ongoing trauma associated with poverty and the loss of home, safety, and sense of security. Traumatic experiences have a profound effect on child and youth development and the ability to learn, ultimately affecting success in life.
The National Center on Family Homelessness was founded in 1988 and is the nation’s foremost authority on family homelessness. In October 2012, The National Center merged with AIR’s Human and Social Development Program. For more information, visit www.familyhomelessness.org.
Recent events such as those in Oklahoma, Boston, and Texas can leave people—especially children—feeling sad, angry, out of control, overwhelmed, and unsafe. Though recovering may take time, it is possible, especially with support from family, friends, and significant others. In 2006, the National Center on Family Homelessness developed a resource, Understanding Traumatic Stress in Children, to help.
START with Kids provides trauma-informed, clinically driven care to children and families in emergency shelters in Worcester, MA. Conducted by The National Center on Family Homelessness, START with Kids is part of the Safe Start Initiative—a federal effort to prevent and reduce the impact of family and community violence on children and their families funded by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The National Center on Family Homelessness leads an initiative to provide technical assistance to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and communities receiving HUD funding with two partners—the Center for Social Innovation and HomeBase. The focus of this work is implementation of specific federal goals to end homelessness.
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