2019 Diaper Drive for Homeless Children
Did you know that the first year of life is the time when a person in America is most likely to become homeless? Did you know that 44 percent of homeless women between the ages of 18 and 25 are either pregnant or already a parent?
Being homeless is a traumatic experience for children that places them at risk for other types of trauma. During the month of October faith and community organizations in Utah will be collecting diapers for homeless children in order to spread awareness of child homelessness and to help families fill a need that does not fit within their budget and cannot be obtained using Food Stamp Program benefits.
Children outgrow the smaller diaper sizes very quickly and so there is the biggest need for diapers that are sizes 5 and 6.
Locations where diapers can be donated in Salt Lake County (call for office hours)
Locations where diapers can be donated in Weber County (call for office hours)
Policies that will reduce the number of nights children ned to spend in Utah's homeless shelters
1. Proceed with Medicaid expansion: Medicaid eligibility was expanded on April 1, 2019. 37,116 adults had enrolled due to this expansion as of September 17, 2019. Over 11,500 of those people were parents with children. Medicaid has now become a cornerstone of helping families avoid homelessness and return to housing following a period of homelessness.
2. Funding the development of the types of housing that will reduce child homelessness: The Department of Workforce Services has produced analysis showing that a one time investment of $15 million in state funding could be used to leverage over $370 million in federal funding and private activity bonds for affordable housing. This would make it possible to make permanent supportive housing and other specific housing interventions that would help reduce the number of nights children spend in Utah’s homeless shelters.
3. Improve access to childcare for homeless families. Switchpoint in St. George is launching a pilot program to offer childcare to homeless children whose parents work swing shift jobs, This will make it possible for parents to accept a wider range of entry level jobs and move toward becoming self sufficient. We need to experiment with similar program in Salt Lake County and other parts of the state.
4. Urge Congress to pass the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act. This bill would expand and improve the housing credits which are a key part of how almost every affordable housing project in Utah is financed. The bill has strong bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate and would make a big difference if it passed.
Facts about child homelessness
• 2,483 children spent a night in the homeless shelter in Utah during 2018. Out this total, 1.040 children were age six or younger. You can search for more facts like these in Utah's searchable homelessness dashboard. Another good resource for facts about homelessness in Utah is the annual report on homelessness produced by the Department of Workforce Services.
• Utah's school districts reported identifying 15,438 homeless student during the 2016-2017 school year. Learn more about homeless students by reading this report.
• Individuals are most likely to experience homelessness in infancy. Learn more in this Policy Statement on Meeting the Needs of Families with Young Children Experiencing and At Risk of Homelessness produced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services . the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Education.
• 44 percent of homeless women between the ages of 18 and 25 are either pregnant or already a parent. Read more in this report from Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.
• Domestic violence is a major factor in child homelessness in Utah, Over 40 percent of the people in families with children who were counted during Utah's 2019 one day point in time count were classified as fleeing domestic violence.
Ideas for including facts about child homelessness in worship services
Some faith communities that are collecting diapers for homeless children also are including prayers and facts about child homelessness in their worship services. This helps deepen a congregation's understanding of child homelessness and their commitment to helping reduce it. We have gathered a packet of materials that have been used to help congregations think about how to do this. Get a copy by clicking on the button below.
You can lean more about the long term impacts of child homelessness by watching these videos
EMERGENCY FOOD PANTRY
347 South 400 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Monday – Friday
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
CROSSROADS THRIFT STORE
1385 West Indiana Avenue
Salt Lake City, UT 84104
Tues.– Friday : 10:00 AM – 6:30 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
CROSSROADS WESTSIDE FOOD PANTRY
1358 West Indiana Avenue
Salt Lake City, UT 84104
Mon, Tues, Thurs: 9AM - 5PM
Food only (no emergency services)
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Crossroads Urban Center
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