(NNPA)—Since the economic crash of 2008, I think everyone has had to make adjustments—except the federal government—including cutting back on discretionary spending, fewer weekends at the beach, eating out less, etc.  What I like about Americans is that when times get hard, we have a tendency to reach out to help those around us who are less fortunate. We will share a loaf of bread with a neighbor. We will give a bag of groceries to a needy member of our church. We will pay the fees for our child’s friend to attend summer camp.

Those we have some connection to will always be on the receiving end of our largess when we have the wherewithal and after we have fulfilled the obligations we have to our families.  This is the America I love and cherish. But this love is becoming somewhat diminished in light of recent numbers on the level of homelessness among children in the U.S.  There are two groups in the U.S. that we should never allow to suffer—children and senior citizens. Children are pure, innocent and totally dependent on us adults.  Senior citizens have paid their dues to society and paved the way for us to enjoy the privileges we have.

But those aren’t the only two groups we should be concerned about. A record 1.16 million students in the United States were homeless last year, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Education.  These were students from K-12 for the school year 2011-12, the latest numbers are available.  This was a 10 percent increase from the previous school year.  According to the federal government, there were 55.5 million students enrolled in school during this period, meaning about 2 percent of all students were homeless.

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