An article recently published on the National Housing Conference website discussed the health implications homelessness can have on children. Many of us think of adults as the homeless population, forgetting that some of these adults are parents with young children who are suffering as well.
The article states that scientific research that has been conducted over a time period of decades has come to show that the development and growth of a child can be damaged should they experience homelessness during their early childhood. The heightened stress caused by homelessness can lead to permanent changes in the functions of the body and the brain as well as lead to serious conditions later on in life. The stress felt by homeless mothers during pregnancy can also cause problems for the child before they are even born. Ultimately, the longer children experience homelessness as well as their age at the time can lead to serious negative effects.
Studies have also shown that the time when the child is experiencing homelessness can also effect development and growth. Children who only experience homelessness after birth are more likely to experience delays in development and are at a greater risk of being in poor health in comparison to those who have never experienced homelessness. Children who only experience homelessness while still in their mother’s womb are at a higher risk of hospitalization after they are born. Children who have experienced both pre and post-natal homelessness are at a higher risk of hospitalization, delays in development, and health complications later on in life.
It is important to remember the youngest victims of homelessness and work hard to provide housing and help families get back on their feet.
My Brother’s Keeper is as strong as our support. Our programs are based on community need as well as the donations and volunteer services available. As our staff continues to work towards helping the community, outside help by way of donations and volunteers are always welcome! Become a part of something great and help make MBK where hope finds a home.
To learn more about how to help, or to find out more about our services, call MBK today at 410-644-3194.