Homelessness in Central Florida and Homeless Students

599 words | 2 page(s)

The article in the Orlando Sentinel is about the surprising amount of homeless students that live in central Florida. That is, according to the article, there are over 15,000 school-aged children that do not have a consistent place that they call home. Because of this, these students are statistically more likely to not attend school, are more likely to be in suspension, and score far below their peers in several subjects. Therefore, this is a major problem for these children who have been put into these circumstances through no fault of their own. In particular, these children are often in and out of homelessness, as their parents or guardians move from one location to another. This means that they struggle to stay in the same schools, although some districts provide assistance, in the form of bus services, gas cards if the child needs to stay after school, among many others. Some children are forced to stay in shelters at night, which brings rise to various other concerns for their safety, as it is uncertain exactly who else is staying in the shelter. Therefore, based on this, these children have to fear for their physical safety, not seeing their friends again as they have to change schools, not having a consistent and stable place to stay, not having a reliable source of food in some cases, etc.

The video by 60 Minutes also handles the problem of homeless students, although they bring up some unique points. The video begins by claiming that there are more homeless students now since 1962, which is about 1 in 4 children. In particular, the video follows a family consisting of a father and his 15 year old daughter and his 13 year old son. They live in a van because their mother died and their father cannot find work as a carpenter. They also interviewed many other children that are forced to live in cars or vans. Many of these children were afraid for their safety, as well as the safety of their families. However, some of these children and their families were given help by local charities, such as buying them a room in a hotel room for a few nights. Furthermore, the families are also afraid of losing their children, as the state might take them away because they are living in unsafe conditions.

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One of the causes of the situations discussed above are social factors, such as difficulty in moving up to a different class. That is, the US economy is becoming more difficult in terms of social and economic mobility, because people in poverty, whether they are born there or through other circumstances, have extremely difficult times getting out. This is due to culture factors, such as the strict adherence to toxic capitalism. That is, the US is largely built on a system of extreme individuality, in which a person’s financial situation is considered to be his or her own. Therefore, the problem of homelessness continues to grow, as there is little sympathy and little actual help, other than the occasional handout from a charity. Of course, gender factors also play a role here. That is, men get less sympathy than women, leading to the fact that more men are homeless than women. However, women are far more vulnerable, especially on the street. For me, if I were homeless and had to go to school, I would feel embarrassed that others would find out. I would also be afraid of leaving my friends and relocating to a new school. Lastly, I would certainly be afraid every night for my safety and the safety of my family.

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