According to a newly released report, more than half of Houston’s children live in low-income homes and are headed for failure. Here’s the problem with having a majority of kids here in Houston growing up in economically challenged homes: Many are often hungry and according to the group Children At Risk, these kids are on a projected path to poverty as adults.
"We're talking about more than 60 percent of our children are growing up in low income households,” explains president of Children At Risk, Bob Sanborn.
How do you think you can help? If you saw a child in trouble, headed for tragedy, what would you do to stop it? Well, plenty of Houston kids are in need and Sanborn says not enough is being done to help.
"There are over 100,000 children growing up in Harris County whose family, family of four, has an income of less than $9,000 a year,” explains Sanborn, who says Children At Risk's new report on the state of Houston kids shows thousands on their way to failure.
"These children are going to have a very hard time overcoming poverty, a very hard time becoming successful. If you grow up poor the odds of you being successful are significantly less likely. We all know examples. I grew up in poverty. Many people grew up in poverty but in a sense we are anomalies. What we need to do is make sure we have a system to make sure more children, or really, all children have that opportunity to be successful,” Sanborn adds.
"Your life is going to keep moving on but what can you do? You don’t know what to do. It’s a scary feeling,” explains 22 year old Charvas Thompson who has been homeless since he was 16, shortly after dropping out of school to help his mom.
"I felt like at the time, working was more important, because we needed the money,” Thompson said. He’s an intelligent young man whose life may have been drastically different if he had the things Children At Risk is pushing for all kids to have, such as a quality education and proper resources.
Thompson says he didn't get it from his single mom, because she didn't have it to give.
“She dropped out of school once she had me. She wasn’t going to college like she said she was because she had to take care of me. I never even got to see her, because she worked so much just to pay rent," Thompson said.
Thompson has now found much more than a home at Covenant House Houston for homeless youth and he's getting his GED.
"I also want to go to school for Genetic Engineering," he said.
Sanborn says kids should have access to adequate information before becoming destitute.
Children at Risk is petitioning lawmakers to make some changes to help stop the cycle that seems to keep too many from achieving success. The group is also asking parents to rededicate themselves to their children, to engage in their kids lives and become the best support system you possibly can.