How the Depression is Changing Families – More Families in Shelters; More Children Living With Grandparents

The NYT points out the tragedy that The Number of Families in Shelters Rises:

…from 2007 through 2009, the number of families in homeless shelters — households with at least one adult and one minor child — leapt to 170,000 from 131,000, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

With long-term unemployment ballooning, those numbers could easily climb this year. Late in 2009, however, states began distributing $1.5 billion that has been made available over three years by the federal government as part of the stimulus package for the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program, which provides financial assistance to keep people in their homes or get them back in one quickly if they lose them.

More than 550,000 people have received aid, including more than 1,800 in Rhode Island, with just over a quarter of the money for the program spent so far nationally, state and federal officials said.

Even so, it remains to be seen whether the program is keeping pace with the continuing economic hardship.

Don’t hold your breath from these government programs to affect any change in this grim trend. Rather expect it to fuel and cement the problems at hand. As we all know, the government is inherently incapable of and uninterested in fighting poverty. Bureaucrats do, on the other hand, have every incentive in the world to maintain and keep in place a permanent underclass of dependent and poor people to justify programs such as the ones that are mentioned in the NYT article, the funds of which of course mostly, as always, end up in the hands of bureaucrats and other politically connected groups, rather than poor people who will of course receive a mere pittance so they keep quiet.

On another related note (I guess), More Children Being Raised by Grandparents:

The number of American children being raised by their grandparents rose after the recession began, according to a report from Pew Social Research.

The report, based on an analysis of Census data, found that the number and share of children who lived with their grandparents had been slowly rising over the last decade but increased sharply from 2007 to 2008:

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The sharpest increase in the number of children who had a grandparent as a primary caregiver was among white children, though in general this family set-up is more common in black and Hispanic families.

Not all of these children live alone with their grandparents; in fact, only 43 percent of these children have no parent in the household. Nearly half (49 percent) of children being raised by grandparents also live with a single parent, and 8 percent live with both parents in the household in addition to the caregiver grandparent.

… these changes in family lifestyles, habits, and child raising are the all to expectable side effects of The Great Depression 2.0 and its corollary, the end of consumerism. One thing is for sure: These children are learning lessons they will never ever forget.


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