Hello Members, Partners and Stakeholders,
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we are focusing our social media efforts on educating the community on how children and families who experience homelessness are more at risk of mental health issues, trauma and adverse childhood effects. In Orange County, more than 40% of the children experiencing homelessness are aged five and younger and at any given time, OC has more than 500 homeless families, that we know of.
Research from the NASP Center indicates that 43% of homeless students repeat a grade, 25% are placed in special education, and 50% are failing academically. This is due to many factors, but one that’s not talked about is trauma, and how it affects a person’s day to day functioning. According to research done by First 5 LA, children who experience homelessness are three times more likely to encounter trauma— both as a result from their homelessness and the situation that caused them to be homeless. By age of 12, 83% of children experiencing homelessness have been exposed to at least one serious, violent incident, and almost 25% have witnessed intimate partner violence. Trauma therefore makes it more difficult for children who have these experiences to lead healthy, stable lives, making it harder to break out of the cycle of homelessness.
Investing in homeless prevention strategies are key to ensuring children, parents and families are able to reduce trauma and mental health challenges and break the cycle of homelessness. We are proud of the system-level, best practice work our 24 members agencies and community partners who are engaged and invested to help prevent and end family homelessness in Orange County!
For the families,
Nikki Buckstead, Executive Director
Family Solutions Collaborative