The average age of a homeless person in the United States is just 11-years-old, according to Alex Rosen, Manager of the Chapman Partnership Homeless Service in Miami, FL.

“You typically think, at least in the United States, that a homeless person is that 35 to 40-year-old guy… by the highway or under the bridge… begging for money, where in fact the average age of homelessness in the United States is 11.”

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The Los Angeles Times recently offered a stunning glimpse into the lives of the 1 in 30 children in the United States who are homeless. Because they frequently move around with the families looking for couches, motels, and shelters to stay in, homeless children and youth are an often invisible population. But now their story is being told.

“In 2013, an estimated 2.5 million children lived in run-down motels, cars and shelters, on friends’ and relatives’ couches and on the streets… Budget motels have become the last resort for those with nowhere else to go.” -Joe Mozingo, Los Angeles Times

Homeless children and youth face serious health, safety, and other threats. But the housing department refuses to acknowledge most of them. Yes, you read that right. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) current definition of homelessness excludes most homeless children or youth: those staying in motels or temporarily with others because they have nowhere else to go. That’s over one million children in the United States that don’t get help, simply because they’re children.

The bipartisan Homeless Children and Youth Act of 2015 would fix HUD’s definition to include homeless children and youth who have been verified as homeless by its own homeless assistance programs, other federal programs, and public school district homeless liaisons. It doesn’t cost taxpayers a single penny, and it includes no new mandates. The Homeless Children and Youth Act of 2015 will help California’s homeless children and youth lead safer, healthier lives, and have a better chance for a brighter future.

Take action today to help homeless children get the help they need by asking your leaders in Congress to cosponsor the Homeless Children and Youth Act of 2015.

Can you guess the average age of homelessness in the U.S.? See the answer >> v/ @Campaign4Kids #HCYA #InvestInKids
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Want to learn more? First Focus Campaign for Children is a bipartisan organization advocating to making children and families the priority in federal policy and budget decisions. Read more about our work on housing and homelessness.

Want to get involved? You can support our work by making a donation, joining our mailing list to receive updates and action alerts on these issues, or taking action right now in support of the Homeless Children and Youth Act.