Housing Hardships Hurt Kids

Housing Hardships Hurt Kids

I generally use this blog to highlight the positive character and work of the Presencia community. But I feel like anyone who follows or supports our work should know why it's so urgent, so this week I'd like to talk a little about the difficulties children in our neighborhood often face.

Currently, in our community, rent for a two-bedroom apartment costs over $1,800 each month.

Because immigrant families need access to infrastructure like public transit, walkable grocery stores, and Spanish-friendly services, they have to make it work.

The impact of expensive housing falls most heavily on children.

Heavy rent burdens mean housing requires money that would otherwise go to healthcare, nutrition, and recreation, three things that have a huge impact on healthy development. Parents take extra work, meaning the children grow up largely unsupervised.

Stress makes for busy, volatile, often abusive relationships, and families often collapse under the pressure.

Maybe the worst offshoot of all this is that families are often forced to take in tenants or leave their kids in untrustworthy care. Over the years I've heard enough stories of sexual abuse of children by tenants, siblings, and relatives to believe it's the norm in our community.

In such a hard system, Presencia acts as a lifeline to students. We offer a safe, supervised space for them to get the nutrition, attention, and play they need. We create healthy community and jobs for youth in our neighborhood. We connect our Presencia families with the people and resources they need to thrive.

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