July 11, 2013, Charlotte, NC – The 2012-2013 school year saw a 16 percent increase in the number of Mecklenburg County homeless children who received social work assistance from A Child’s Place of Charlotte, Inc.  While the agency provided social work support to 2,228 homeless children in 2011-2012, that number grew to 2,656 for the school year just ended.

According to The National Center on Family Homelessness, 1.6 million children in the United States experience homelessness every year. In June 2013, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) reported 4,770 identified homeless students.  The June announcement by CMS confirms that the number of identified homeless students decreased by only 3 percent over the past year, and suggests that child homelessness continues to be epidemic in Mecklenburg County.

“I am pleased that A Child’s Place was able to assist 56 percent of the number of homeless children  Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools identified this year,” said Annabelle Suddreth, executive director of A Child’s Place. “We are closer than we’ve ever been to reaching all of the homeless children in Mecklenburg County, but many more still need our help. We estimate that there may be close to 6,000 homeless children in Charlotte, if you factor in the children who are not yet school age or who are too embarrassed to notify school administrators of their living situation.”

A Child’s Place serves homeless elementary and middle school children attending Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.  Client children reside in shelters, pay-by-the-week motels and “doubled up” or “tripled up” with others. A Child’s Place works to remove the barriers to education often associated with homelessness by providing children with all they need to physically and mentally focus on their school work. Last school year, 97 percent of the agency’s client children were promoted to the next grade.

“With generous help from a diverse group of friends and benefactors from the greater Charlotte community and beyond, A Child’s Place has been continuously increasing our service capacity over the last several years in an effort to catch up with the rising number of homeless children in the Charlotte community,” Suddreth said.

About A Child’s Place

Homelessness for children isn’t just about where they lay their heads at night; it’s about where their heads are during the day at school, too.  Founded in 1989, A Child’s Place of Charlotte is working to erase the impact of homelessness on children and their education, reaching 2,656 children during the 2012-2013 school year.  In June 2013, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools reported 4,770 homeless students enrolled in the county’s public schools.  To learn more about A Child’s Place or to make a donation in support of this important work, call 704-343-3790 or visit www.achildsplace.org.    

Contact:

Sarah Melton | Development Associate 

A Child’s Place | 601 E. Fifth St., Suite 230, Charlotte, NC 28202
T: 704-943-9550 | E: smelton@achildsplace.org

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