According to the National Center on Family Homelessness, 1.6 million children were living under inadequate circumstances in 2010 — on the street, in homeless shelters, or motels. The number is rising, and there are no signs of decline due to the scarcity of affordable housing. 14 million families were in poverty before the recession, but according to the U.S. Census, it is now up to 16 million.

Unemployment continues to hover around nine percent, and foreclosures are leaving families homeless and hungry for the first time in their lives. Children are descending into homelessness in record numbers, and the poverty rate is estimated to rise up to 25 percent. With one in 45 children in the United States currently facing such despair, it is imperative for this issue to be addressed. My primary concern is to bring awareness to the plight of child homelessness through a comprehensive documentation of their daily struggles.

Being in the most developmental stage of their lives without a steady foundation, children of poverty-stricken families battle with schoolwork and are at a greater risk of falling behind in school. The lack of stability and security prevents them from focusing on schoolwork. The motel generation is growing fast, and at this rate, they will be the largest American generation to be raised in such harshness and turbulence since the Great Depression.

As with any photojournalistic effort, my intention is to bring a growing, seemingly invisible problem to light; to allow others to witness the pain and perseverance that these children are dealing with on a day-to-day basis. Not many are fully aware that millions of families are trapped in such affliction. My ambition is to create a sociological chronicle of this devastating moment in history through this visual endeavor — and for the world to recognize the unimaginable grief of child homelessness.

Craig Blankenhorn

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