Homeless Children: The Other One Percent

Drinking a cup of coffee this afternoon, fighting off unprecedented, increasing allergy assaults this spring (I live in a wonderfully flowering parkland with a yard in full bloom), I leisurely read this Sunday’s headlines: Joining Washington’s one percenters takes more than the U.S. average .  According to writers Gowen, Morello, and Mellnik, a household income must be far above the national average of $387,000, to be in the area’s top 1 percent. The gateway for the region is $527,000. And the numbers in this category are increasing.  Frankly, this may well be considered a good thing.  Certainly, this is a sign that the economy is not absolutely flat, and that there is an expanding opportunity for charitable contributions in the region. But where are the headlines about the other one percent, the bottom, which includes those nearly 500 homeless District children who live in an aging hospital turned emergency shelter, in the midst of this affluence? How many of the affluent have ever met a child who lives in the large emergency family shelter located at the former D.C. General Hospital? These numbers are increasing, too. These children are housed with their indigent parents in eyesight of the city morgue and jail. Death and incarceration. Disparities and dispair. No place for growing children. Yet these formidable facilities are much more appealing than the family shelter itself. I think it is simply wrong for us to allow such subliminal messaging to poor children. This breeds hopelessness, disconnect, anger, and a culture of poverty. If you are interested in joining with others to make a difference, let me know.

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Author

Name: Dr. Sheryl Brissett Chapman

About: Dr. Sheryl Brissett Chapman, Executive Director, is a passionate, internationally recognized and award-winning advocate for children, youth, and their families, who struggle with extreme poverty, abuse and neglect, domestic violence, and disabilities and related trauma. An author and expert in child and family welfare, she believes in the sheer power of “community” as it reinforces unimaginable resilience when it provides the basic support to those in its midst who have need. Dr. Chapman envisions a healthy, happy childhood for each and every child, regardless of the circumstances of their birth or the socio-economic status of their family.

ABOUT US

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Founded in 1915 as an orphanage in the District of Columbia, NCCF is a private, nonprofit child and family welfare agency with a commitment to serving poor, disadvantaged, abused, neglected and/or abandoned children, youth, and their families.

Current program services include emergency shelters and transitional housing for homeless families, a high-intensity therapeutic group home, therapeutic and traditional foster care and adoption, independent living for youth transitioning to adulthood, teen parent services, and community-based prevention services that promote academic achievement, parental involvement, economic and vocational stability, and healthy families. Our programs have become social service models, redefining both NCCF’s reputation and the agency’s position in the human service continuum in the Washington Metropolitan Region.

blog-sidebar-aboutUs-logo

Founded in 1915 as an orphanage in the District of Columbia, NCCF is a private, nonprofit child and family welfare agency with a commitment to serving poor, disadvantaged, abused, neglected and/or abandoned children, youth, and their families.

Current program services include emergency shelters and transitional housing for homeless families, a high-intensity therapeutic group home, therapeutic and traditional foster care and adoption, independent living for youth transitioning to adulthood, teen parent services, and community-based prevention services that promote academic achievement, parental involvement, economic and vocational stability, and healthy families. Our programs have become social service models, redefining both NCCF’s reputation and the agency’s position in the human service continuum in the Washington Metropolitan Region.

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