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In Minnesota, 3,900 children are homeless each night

To the editor:

From the year 2000 to 2010, the rate of children in poverty in Minnesota rose from 114,000 (9 percent) to 192,000 (15.2 percent). According to the Children’s Defense Fund of Minnesota (CDF-MN), the metro counties of Hennepin and Ramsey have the highest rate of children living in poverty. There is a rise in suburban counties of children living in poverty.

In Minnesota, 3,900 children are homeless each night with an estimated 14,000 children experiencing homelessness over the course of a year. More than half of the people that are served in food shelves are children. According to the CDF-MN, in the summer when schools are closed, 200,000 children are at risk of hunger.

In Minnesota, 63 percent of fourth grade students scored below proficient levels in 2009, according to the CDF-MN. Poverty and homelessness affects children’s development. With poverty there often is highly stressful living conditions.

According to the author of, children living in poverty have higher number of absenteeism or leave school altogether because they have to either work or care for a family member. Children living in poverty are not prepared for primary schooling. Students between the ages of 16 and 24 who come from low income families are seven times more likely to drop out.

Hunter Plaster and Tarynn Kohls,

ATCC child development

program students

Alexandria, MN