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Recent homeless children numbers inflated – by 454 percent

A report released Tuesday indicated there were about 1.3 million homeless children in the United States. The definition of a homeless child used by the organization who completed the study may surprise you, or maybe not.

Standard operating procedure for organizations like the National Center on Family Homelessness – who I’m certain have their hearts in the right place – is to stand up and raise hands in a frantic motion to get the attention of politicians who can provide them with funding for research, training and technical assistance, program design and public education.

They do this by releasing sensational reports that blow the problem so out of proportion they make fools of themselves. From Fox News

A well publicized report this week that an estimated 1.5 million American children experienced homelessness in 2005-06 did not use the federal definition of homelessness. Instead, it used a different definition that grossly inflated the actual number.

The report — released Tuesday by the National Center on Family Homelessness and reported by numerous news organizations, including FOXNews.com — estimated that one out of every 50 children in America experienced “homelessness” during that two-year span.

But rather than using the definition of homelessness established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Massachusetts-based organization used a standard adopted by the Department of Education that includes children who are “doubled up,” or children who share housing with other persons due to economic hardship or similar reason.

The difference? About 1,170,000 children.

Oh come now, what does a difference of 454 percent really mean, after all there are still 330,000 kids that are homeless as defined by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development office. (I’m wondering about those numbers too.)

The National Center on Family Homelessness collects funding to do research on the problem. Since all they do is research, you would think that maybe they would be able to release a somewhat unbiased report. Click on the image to find out the groups impact.

homeless-centerHat tip to Sister Toldjah.