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‘Tidal wave’ of homeless students hits schools School districts across U.S. struggling to pay for needs of uprooted kids


OXNARD, Calif. - Nine-year-old Daniel Valdez is absorbed in “The Swiss Family Robinson,” the fictional story of a family shipwrecked on a tropical island. In real life, he and his family also are marooned, but there is little romance in their tale of survival in this seaside town northwest of Los Angeles.
Daniel, his mother and five brothers, ages 1 to 17, live in a garage without heat or running water in a modest, low-lying neighborhood that sits between celebrity-owned mansions in the hills and the Pacific Ocean. Each morning, they arise at 6:30, get dressed and then leave quietly; they return only after dark — a routine born out of the fear that detection could mean the loss of even this humble dwelling.
Daniel and his brothers have been sleeping in the garage for more than a year http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29356160

any people on here are worried about kids not paying for school lunch or there moms on welfare!!

 
mrssundin

Asked by mrssundin at 12:09 PM on Mar. 2, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

Level 19 (6,722 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (24)
  • The woman was stable when she had the kids, she lost her home, so she must have been able to afford that as well as afford to care for her children at some point..

    finding jobs isn't always easy, and getting on the system can be difficult if not impossible for situations like this.. if you don't have a place of residency or some form of a mailing address for them to come and check in, in some states, they won't even take you. So then you have to find a shelter, and they aren't as common as people would like to believe. Some of these people don't have family to turn to. Churches and other organizations do give out help, but finding a church that does have the means, or an organization that does give out hand outs, are difficult, and they aren't well advertised, then you have to find transportation to get to these establishments and that can be difficult as well. I feel for her. cont.
    xxhazeldovexx

    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 2:54 PM on Mar. 2, 2009

  • What's the question?
    akinbottom2

    Answer by akinbottom2 at 12:12 PM on Mar. 2, 2009

  • Thats sad. But, people living like this is nothing new in the USA, just now when things are getting rough.

    When I was little, we lived in cars, little campers, hotels-if we were lucky-they had water and heat.

    It is sad. My heart goes out to them. I know what that is like.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:12 PM on Mar. 2, 2009

  • any people on here are worried about kids not paying for school lunch or there moms on welfare!!

    That is the question, I believe...
    ThaMCE

    Answer by ThaMCE at 12:17 PM on Mar. 2, 2009

  • This story is really sad.... i feel for those kids....

    but then i get angry at the parent... where does safe sex and protection come in? why have a bunch of children and can't take care of them? this is a PRIME example... she has those poor little boys in a garage...they are getting robbed at a fair shot at life...

    i've been there...no running water, heat....its not cool!....

    i don't care about them getting free lunches... but why isnt she trying to get a job? why isnt she going to s.s. for emergency housing? there are other options rather then just having the gov. take care of you.... you don't hear her (i watched the little video) say anything about looking for a job...
    JuLiAnSmOmMy317

    Answer by JuLiAnSmOmMy317 at 12:24 PM on Mar. 2, 2009

  • To answer you, OP, I am not worried about paying for school lunch, because I have my kid bring her lunch. Before we do ANY shopping for food, I make sure this is taken care of first.

    I was on welfare for a short time YEARS ago, but I could only imagine how hard it must be now.

    I watched last week's Oprah-the Lisa Ling episode on "tent cities" where she covered our hometown of Sacramento, CA. I cried watching these families, thinking that I must be lucky being able to live in Sacramento, and have the things I have. The sad thing is that there IS (or was, I'm not sure) a homeless assistance program through the welfare system, but it's impossible to use and find a home. I was given two weeks worth of checks to live in a motel and while you're on it, you have to find a place to live. For each apartment complex/landlord you visit, you have to ask them to sign a piece of paper to prove you are actively looking for a home.
    ThaMCE

    Answer by ThaMCE at 12:25 PM on Mar. 2, 2009

  • Here we go again with the "if you can't afford them, don't have them" line. How do we know that she couldn't afford them a little over a year ago? Maybe when she got pregnant with the youngest things were still o.k. for her. How do you know all about people's lives? Are you God?

    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:26 PM on Mar. 2, 2009

  • anon.... i just look at it like its not fair to the children!! she is not working and they live in a freakin garage... thats my opinion you don't have to agree...
    JuLiAnSmOmMy317

    Answer by JuLiAnSmOmMy317 at 12:29 PM on Mar. 2, 2009

  • You can get help if you want it. You can get work if you want it. They could go to a shelter with running water and heat. They could go to any church and ask for help. I can't think of a single Christian church that would not make sure they got settled.

    My heart breaks for these kids. It really does. But something is mentally wrong with their mother and she needs to be evaluated. You don't put your kids in a garage night after night. Personal responsibility. Even if you have to give them up for a bit to be safe while you get on your feet, that's what you do.
    lovinangels

    Answer by lovinangels at 12:36 PM on Mar. 2, 2009

  • This is really nothing new. Many school districts have had special units that work with homeless children for years. There are times when nothing that the parent could have done would have prevented them becoming homeless, but more often than not the child is paying for a parent's selfishness or stupid mistake.

    Magpie75

    Answer by Magpie75 at 12:36 PM on Mar. 2, 2009

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