Families represent the fastest growing segment of homelessness in the United States. Approximately half of the homelessness population in Arizona is comprised of families with dependent children, which is disproportionately higher than the national statistic of 37%. The Arizona Department of Education consistently reports that over 25,000 school aged students experience homelessness at some point during a school year.
Families experiencing homelessness move frequently between shelters, overcrowded apartments, and temporary arrangements with relatives or friends. This high mobility is traumatic, particularly for children and youth. Lack of consistency, routines, privacy, safety, health care, uninterrupted schooling, and a sense of community make it extremely difficult for children and youth to flourish socially, emotionally, and academically. Children and youth
experiencing homelessness are twice as likely to experience hunger, have moderate to severe acute and chronic health problems, and repeat a grade in school.
In addition to assistance with housing, employment, and income, families experiencing homelessness often need support with child care, school enrollment, transportation, recreation, and parenting.