For most Kiwi’s a recession means just a little moderation for awhile and for most the pending doom is not a reality at all and when you tell them about it their eyes glaze over and they go on with what they were doing and ignore the signs of what will turn out to be the mother of all depressions.
To bring it home I thought I would try to picture the current crisis in what it would mean if it happened over here as it must do in the very near future.
A rapport just appeared which concluded that as long ago as 2005-2006 one in every fifty children in the US was homeless. That was before the sub-prime crisis unfolded and before as many as 23.000 people everyday are loosing their jobs.
What that means in numbers is the following. 1 in every 50 children is homeless and that amounted to 1.5 million children. That means that there are some 75 million children in the US. The population of hte US stands at 300 million so 75 million is roughly 1 quarter of the population.
In New Zealand the population amounts to a little over 4.3 million. That means that if our population is build roughly the same as the US then there are approximatly 1, o75 million children. devided by 50 that would mean that there would be 21.500 children homeless, in shelters, living with family, in cars, motels or tents or otherwise uprooted from a save and nurturing environment. Just think how devastating that would be.
Just imagine what it would mean to the 46% of those children below the age of 6, the 1 in 7 of those children suffering from milt to moderate physical ailments such as astma.
And that was three years ago. Today 23.000 human beings loose their jobs daily. 31.8 million people live on foodstamps and some 20.000 families a month are evicted from their homes.
In and out of classrooms, sleeping in shelters, shielded by parents, homeless children can seem invisible to society at large.
A national study released Monday finds that one in 50 children in America is homeless. They’re sharing housing because of economic hardship, living in motels, cars, abandoned buildings, parks, camping grounds or shelters, or waiting for foster care placement.
“That is something that I don’t think most people intuitively believe to be true,” said Ellen Bassuk, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and president of the National Center on Family Homelessness.
The national center last did such a report 10 years ago, and numbers of children without a permanent place to sleep are growing.