Homelessness among girls, and their families, is a growing concern in urban areas across the world. In Houston, TX, where I work, it affects more than 500 girls each year. Homelessness can send girls and women into dangerous situations that put them at risk for physical and sexual abuse, addictions and other harmful behaviors. The effects of homelessness on girls can be long-lasting. Girls who experience homelessness are more likely to enter the juvenile justice system, struggle in school and have low academic achievement.
There are many reasons why a girl may become homeless. A parent or caregiver can lose their job, for example. They might have substance abuse problems or mental health issues that make it difficult to keep a home. Girls in foster care can be moved from one placement to another and lose the stability of having a place to call home. Homelessness can also be a result of domestic violence. If a parent experiences abuse at home, they may have to leave in order to protect themselves and their children. Children who experience homelessness often feel scared, insecure and overwhelmed by the situation. They may worry about where they will sleep each night or whether there will be enough food for dinner. Children who experience homelessness may lose their belongings, including their school supplies and clothes. They may have to live in shelters with other families or in places like cars or abandoned buildings. Homelessness can be dangerous for children because they are more vulnerable than adults to abuse and neglect.
The federal government recently increased funding for shelter programs, but experts say more money needs to be spent on prevention programs. Groups that work with homeless girls say that there is a need for more shelters where they can stay. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded nearly $3 million in grants to organizations that work with homeless youth. The money will be used to help provide services, including shelter, food, healthcare and job training for homeless children. The grants, which were announced in May, will be awarded to 17 organizations across the country. The money is part of HUD’s funding for homeless youth programs, which have received $55 million this year. The grants will allow agencies to hire more staff members, purchase new equipment and renovate facilities.
Sam’s Heat, the Project of UCEC intiated with the motive to provide shelter to homeless girls and in our efforts we have acquired a building and reshping it to accomodate more and more gilrs. Sam’s Heart would be the right place to donate and support homeless girls.