The Center for Hunger-Free Communities

Solutions Based on Science and the Human Experience

Philadelphia Inquirer Article Highlights Growing Number of Invisible Homeless

November 17, 2011
Event Date: 
November 17, 2011

An article published in the Philadelphia Inquirer on November 17, 2011 by Alfred Lubrano brings to light a report published by the Pew Research Center in Washington and supported by our Children's HealthWatch research that increasing numbers of people are among the "invisible homeless" - living with family or friends to avoid the streets.

The report by Pew found that the numbers of individuals who moved in with family to avoid homelessness increased by 10% from 46.5 million to 51.4 million.

The article also cites the Center for Hunger-Free Communities' Children's HealthWatch Philadelphia research at St. Christopher's Hospital in North Philadelphia, where more than one-third of participants in emergency room interviews have indicated that they are living with relatives or friends. Dr. Chilton also describes how the sharing of housing can adversely affect children in these families, as well as create additional burdens on those families who are supporting their relatives or friends by sharing their residence.

To read more about the impacts of homelessness, overcrowding and frequent moving on children, please see the new Children's HealthWatch brief, "Overcrowding and Frequent Moves Undermine Children’s Health" or the recently published journal article "US Housing Insecurity and the Health of Very Young Children" by Children's HealthWatch researchers Diana Cutts, et al.

(Note: graph source from Pew Research Center report, Philadelphia Inquirer article)


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