The Norman Transcript

Government

February 25, 2013

Homelessness puts extra stress on children

NORMAN — More children are homeless today in Cleveland County than were homeless last year according to recent counts by school and city officials.

“Families are our largest population,” said Food and Shelter for Friends Executive Director April Doshier. “We’re seeing more families homeless for the first time than ever before. What that means is there are moms and children with no place to go. That group, of course, is our top priority.”

Families living paycheck to paycheck often cannot survive a major life crisis such as job loss, illness, or divorce and that can mean children end up homeless.

“We see working families who are doing everything they can to make ends meet. Many single-parent households lack enough funds to pay rent and support their families,” Doshier said.

She believes children are powerfully impacted by homelessness with the reactions varying depending on the age and personality of the child.

“I think young children tend to be very confused about why they have no home,” Doshier said. “Older children tend to take on responsibility on how to fix this. Both of those experiences are very traumatic for children.”

Not having a secure place to lay their heads at night is only one of the challenges faced by homeless children.

“Children who become homeless miss a lot of school,” Doshier said. “They have a lot of health issues. They have behavioral issues.”

The new national trend toward homelessness prevention and rapid rehousing is geared to help protect children during this very formative time.

“The best thing we can do for them is make their experience with homelessness as short as possible,” Doshier said.

Some families camp at the river or rent motel rooms by the day. Even those who are “couch surfing” — staying with a friend or a relative — are under stress because those situations can be “very temporary,” she said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Government
  • Moore City Council paves way for Sam’s Club location

    MOORE — The Moore City Council approved a $5 million bond Tuesday to be repaid with sales tax and utility revenues. “A good amount of street improvements needs to be done,” Moore City Manager Steve Eddy said. “This will be paid for with ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Another brick in the Wal-Mart

    Norman could soon have five Wal-Mart stores, including three supercenters and two neighborhood markets. A proposal for the newest supercenter will come before the Norman City Council at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday via a request for a zoning change on ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Local group celebrates ruling

    A local group, Mothers of Many, expressed its elation with Friday’s 10th Circuit Court ruling striking down Oklahoma’s state ban on same-sex marriage....

    July 20, 2014

  • Leftover loss still hurting

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Cities, counties and school districts remain frozen out of a federal program that has sent millions of dollars worth of trenchers, trailers, semis, bulldozers, boats and forklifts and other equipment over the years....

    July 19, 2014

  • City and state briefs

    Transportation needs listed The White House released a new report this week from the Council of Economic Advisers and National Economic Council on the long-term economic benefits of transportation investment and why conditions in the ...

    July 17, 2014

  • Griffin Park 6 Proposal requests improving, expanding youth sports facilities

    Improving and expanding Norman’s youth sports facilities will generate revenue in tourism dollars, say advocates of Norman Forward, a grassroots initiative launched last week. The package proposed by Norman business leaders and community ...

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Norman sales tax slump not an indicator for FYE 2015

    Norman sales tax collections were disappointingly low this month, kicking off the new fiscal year below budget. The Oklahoma Tax Commission deposited $5,439,309 in sales tax receipts for Norman on July 9. The Public Safety Sales Tax ...

    July 11, 2014

  • Library tops city’s list of desired amenity

    Businessman Mike Fowler promised to lead Norman forward during his inaugural speech as the incoming Norman Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors chairman this year. Months before that declaration, however, Fowler and a group of Norman ...

    July 11, 2014

  • City briefs

    Inaugural 2014 Rookie Camp at Whittier Recreation Center The Inaugural 2014 Rookie Camp for ages 4-7 will take place from 10 a.m. to noon Monday through Thursday at the Whittier Recreation Center, 2000 W. Brooks St....

    July 11, 2014

  • Legacy Trails expected to be regional draw to TIF retail district

    The Norman City Council approved a Business Improvement District on Tuesday to pay for maintenance of Legacy Park. The park is expected to be a regional draw, enhancing the University North Park retail area and bringing people to the area ...

    July 9, 2014