The Norman Transcript

Local news

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
Local news
  • N7 Sooners come together to serve Native American youth

    Whitney Wofford has faced some tough competition as a part of the Oklahoma tennis team. However, on Wednesday, Wofford may have taken on her biggest and most rewarding competition yet at the Sooners For N7 event at the Oklahoma football ...

    April 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • Earth Day activities continue this week

    Oklahoma is no stranger to extreme weather, but many say those extremes are even greater than before. Norman resident and biologist Kathy Rand is convinced those climate irregularities are a result of climate change caused by pollution, ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Moore schools receive $500K

    As Mickey Davis addressed the auditorium, the picture of a bright-eyed, happy 8-year-old on the podium in front of her could not be ignored. Davis’ son, Kyle Davis, was one of seven who lost their lives in the May 2013 tornadoes at Plaza ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Man arraigned after wife’s death

    A judge on Wednesday denied bond for a 37-year-old Norman man formally charged with stabbing his wife to death with a kitchen knife early Saturday morning in their southeast Norman apartment. Abid Sandhu, 37, was arraigned before Special ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Tornado Repair Oklahoma officials account for $9.4M in disaster spending

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Nearly a year after deadly tornadoes hit central Oklahoma, officials announced that they have spent close to $9.4 million in private donations on relief efforts....

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • School to present ‘Hamlet’

    To be or not to be? That is the question Norman North High School students are answering during their production of William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” this week....

    April 24, 2014

  • Historic house celebrates centennial

    When Fredrick Holmberg arrived in Norman more than 100 years ago, he tucked his violin beneath his arm and headed for the University of Oklahoma campus.  A century later, another violinist, Cindy Zhang, will perform at the home Holmberg ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Dorman wants bipartisan appeal

    Rep. Joe Dorman said he’s proud to be a Democrat running for governor, but he hopes to garner bipartisan support. In a visit Wednesday to the Transcript, Dorman said, if elected, he wants to work across party lines like former Gove. Henry ...

    April 24, 2014

  • ‘Frozen’ to air Friday

    Movies on Main in Blanchard will host a showing of “Frozen” at 8 p.m. Friday. The evening will include hot dogs, chips, drinks, popcorn and free movie merchandise....

    April 24, 2014

  • Safety Town registration begins Saturday

    Saturday marks the beginning of registration for Safety Town classes at Sooner Mall. Safety Town, a 37-year Norman tradition, teaches children, ages 5 and 6, the importance of bicycle, fire and personal safety. Classes are 50 minutes long ...

    April 24, 2014

Video
Facebook