When I first heard about this story it broke my heart. Especially during a pandemic. A little boy…only 7 years old…being born into poverty and living homeless his entire life.
Getting Theo to the bus is one of the simpler challenges they face. There’s dealing with the strangers who approach their tent at all hours, with the police who sometimes force them to pack up and move, with the hunger that sends them begging for money and food. Many days, Theo sits in his mother’s bicycle trailer by a freeway entrance as she holds up a sign to passing drivers: “Homeless Mother and Child.”
In 2019, Alameda County’s biennial count showed 23 children under the age of 18 unsheltered. Nationally, minors accounted for 5% or about 9,700 of the 194,000 homeless people who were unsheltered in 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. When those staying in hotels and other temporary housing were included, the number of homeless youths swelled to nearly 112,000.
But surprisingly, it’s not like the city or health officials having tried to help them. On the contrary.