Effects of Poverty, Hunger and Homelessness on Children and Youth

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“Effects of Poverty, Hunger and Homelessness on Children and Youth”, “How Do You Define Poverty, Part 1 and Part 2”, and access information on the number of families living in poverty in your county. Summary of Materials:

The article, “Effects of Poverty, Hunger, and Homelessness on Children and Youth”, provides vast amounts of information and the far reaching effects on lives of the individuals living in those circumstances (“American Psychology”, n.d.). This problem is not distributed evenly among diverse ethnic groups or locations in the United States according to the You Tube video, “Professors 302, Part 1” (2011). In Henry County, Tennessee, 17.2% of the people live below the poverty level (US Department of Commerce, 2012) with 10.6% being families according to the Tennessee Economic Council on Women (Rawls, Reynolds & Eubanks, 2010). By attaching faces to these statistics, we may be able to scratch the surface of understanding the immense depth of the problems that poverty, hunger, and homelessness create for an individual and how it may evolve from one generation to the next. The consensus is that a collaborated plan needs to evolve between all agencies involved in working with this need in order to even attempt to deal with the issues and rectify the problem.

The effects of poverty on children has varying repercussions on their physical, mental, learning capabilities, and social relationships, not just when they are children, but as they mature and take their place in society (Driscoll, Nagel,2012). Poverty has been linked to poor children with “almost twice the increased risk for stunted growth, iron deficiency, and severe asthma” (Driscoll, Nagel, 2012). These come from the many adverse effects “linked with negative conditions such as substandard housing, homelessness, inadequate nutrition and food insecurity, inadequate child care, lack of access to health care, unsafe neighborhoods, and under resourced school”(American Psychological Association, n.d.,p.2). Poverty goes beyond these physical detriments into the personal realm of “poor academic achievement, school dropout, abuse and neglect, behavioral and socioemotional problems, and developmental delays” (American Psychological Association, n.d., p.2). Parents that feel the strain economically are more likely to treat their children differently than parents who are higher ranked socially and economically because of the constant worry about food, clothing, and housing, consequently, transferring that stress to their children unintentionally being unsupportive and somewhat disconnected(Driscoll, Nagel, 2012).

Many factors may have an impact on children but “school-age children who experience severe hunger are at increased risk for the following negative outcomes: homelessness, chronic health conditions, stressful life conditions, psychiatric distress, behavioral problems, internalizing behavior, including depression, anxiety, withdrawal, and poor self-esteem” (American Psychological Association, n.d.,p5).There are assistance programs available to help supplement food supplies such as “Women, Infants and Children (WIC)…, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)…, and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)” (American Psychological Association, n.d.,p.6), but that does not delve into the major problems constantly a part of those in poverty’s lives. According to a video on You Tube, “The Professor- Defining Poverty”, the participants in this round table discussion feels that unless there becomes a consolidated structured agenda between departments of state and private agencies, then the problem will continue to grow and expand(Twenty Wise TV-Part 2, 2011). Hosted by Kennedy-Ted Williams from King College, and guests being Antonio Vasquez –William Wright College, Jessica Nawles and Bessie Alcantabar of the BUILD private organization for the betterment of the youth on the streets of Chicago brought interesting concepts to the...
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