The pressures of the recession are pushing more children to run away from home. To survive in U.S. streets, some are selling drugs, panhandling or engaging in prostitution. Their main stress is to remain invisible to predators and police officers.
Predators are most certainly hunting them, but NYTimes reported federal data indicates that usually officers are not, either because parents have not reported them missing or the police have mishandled the reports.
Other troubling facts:
- Federal officials say homelessness over all is expected to rise 10 percent to 20 percent this year.
- Financially troubled states began sharply cutting social services last year.
- The $787 billion economic stimulus package includes $1.5 billion to address the problem of homelessness. Almost all of that money will go toward homeless families, not unaccompanied youths.