Arkansas' Report Card Fails Homeless Children
Arkansas ranked 3rd in the country for the worst amount of children who are homeless, that's according to America's Youngest Outcasts of 2010.
The documents ranked the states from best to worst and Arkansas came in at 48 above Mississippi (49) and Alabama (50). It considered homelessness, child well-being, and risk for child homelessness.
If the statistics are not glaring enough, the report also shows there are 2,000+ more homeless children in 2010 than in 2009.
"I'm 43. I've never had to ask. I've always taken care of us so it matters," said homeless father of three boys, Robert Ockerman.
He said he was laid off about a year ago, his wife left the state, and he hasn't found a job. He said he's having trouble working a schedule around Robert Jr., 9, Levi, 6, and Malachi, 4.
"I'm hitting all the motels because maybe they'll work with me and I've put in 3 for Macdonald's so far and I'm waiting," said Robert Sr.
He said Christmas will be tough.
"Oh man it kills me. I wanna be the one to buy the presents you know?" said Robert Sr.
Executive Director of Our House, Georgia Mjartan said they've seen a 47% increase of children in their shelter. It's a reason why they're expanding.
"They're calling out for help and to have to say no. That's really tough. That's a really tough thing," said Mjartan.
She said they had to turn away two families this week.
To adopt an Our House family for Christmas email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more on Our House: http://www.ourhouseshelter.org/