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Economic Downtown and Children
Detail: The severe economic downturn in America is causing poverty and family homelessness to increase, quality of public education in many communities to deteriorate, and loss of access to health care for many children as their parents join the vastly expanding ranks of the unemployed. These are factors that have long been known to impede the ability of young people to flourish.

According to the president of the Children’s Health Fund in New York, Dr. Irwin Redlener, numbers of children in poverty may rise from about 12.5 million before the recession to nearly 17 million by the end of this year. This is the emergence of a ‘recession generation,’ that includes the children who were already living in poverty, but also millions more whose families had a reasonable chance of making it. Growing numbers of children are depending on emergency rooms for health care or going without care.

The number of people receiving food stamps has increased by 4.6 million, nearly 17 percent since the start of the recession according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Homelessness that had been a persistent problem is also on the rise. Social service programs are being cut coast to coast. Similar cutbacks in socially beneficial and even life-saving programs for children are in the works in many states.

As kids can’t wait for the economic recovery to have their immediate needs cared for, Children’s Health Fund, in an effort to bring health care to some of the children most in need right now, while at the same time drawing attention to the plight of children in general in these tough economic times, is planning to deploy state-of-the-art mobile medical units to some of the communities hardest hit by the recession.
Source: Based on a story by Bob Herbert titled “Children in Peril”, The New York Times, April 20, 2009
Date: May 20 2009