A report by the National Academy of Sciences that calls the growing number of homeless children "a national disgrace" was published without its authors' strong recommendations and criticism of government failures.
The report released Tuesday portrays a homeless America filled not only with alcoholics and former mental patients but with growing numbers of children and families scraping out a dismal existence in rural communities.The study ordered by Congress and directed by the academy's Institute of Medicine estimates that on any given night families with a total of 100,000 children are homeless, while yet more children have run away or been kicked out by their parents.
The 242-page report says children under 18 are the fastest growing group among the nation's homeless and says this is "nothing short of a national disgrace that must be treated with the urgency that such a situation demands."
But committee members hired by the institute wanted to go much further in their criticism, panel chairman Bruce C. Vladeck, president of United Hospital Fund of New York in New York City, said in a telephone interview late Tuesday. The panel included 13 experts in medicine and social science.
Vladeck said the published report "doesn't adequately convey our sense of outrage and dismay at the phenomenon of homelessness."
The only indication of the panel's stronger position comes in a five-line footnote that says members of the committee "unanimously wish to express their strong feeling that the recommendations are too limited in addressing the broader issues of homelessness.