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Utah children at risk for homelessness due to home foreclosure rate and 'moderate' planning efforts, national report says

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 13 2011 6:07 p.m. MST

Atkinson said providing food or cash donations to the Utah Food Bank or local food pantries can go a long way to prevent homelessness because it give a little cushion to families struggling to make ends meet. "When people give a bag of groceries, they're helping to prevent homelessness," she said.

According to the report, 1.6 million American children, or one in 45, are homeless in a year. Children who experience homelessness suffer from hunger, poor physical and emotional health and missed educational opportunities.

"Not surprisingly, the risks for child homelessness — such as extreme poverty and worst case housing needs — have worsened with the economic recession, even though the total housing capacity for families increased by more than 15,000 units in the past four years, primarily due to the federal Homeless Prevention and Rapid Rehousing Program," the report said.

The complete report, which can be found at www.homelesschildrenamerica.org, documents the numbers of homeless children in every state, their well-being, the risk for child homelessness, and state level planning and policy activities.

The 2010 report is an update to a previous analysis by The National Center on Family Homelessness titled "America’s Youngest Outcasts: State Report Card on Child Homelessness." 

COMPOSITE SCORES (1= Best, 50=Worst)

UTAH - 27

Top Composite Scores 

1. Vermont

2. Minnesota

3. Nebraska

4. North Dakota

5. Maine

6. New Hampshire

7. New Jersey

8. Massachusetts

9. Montana

10. Iowa

Bottom Composite Scores  

41.Georgia

42. Florida

43. Nevada

44. Louisiana

45. New Mexico

46. California

47. Arizona

48. Arkansas

49. Mississippi

50. Alabama

E-mail: marjorie@desnews.com

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