Homeless Children in Texas: An Epidemic

Not knowing when your next meal will be, where you will sleep tonight or if you can go to school in the morning-It's something record numbers of Texas children deal with everyday.

Texas leads the nation in the number of homeless children. The latest report calls them America's Youngest Outcasts and Texas gets an "F" in every category when it comes to homeless kids.

"I can ride my bike without training wheels." Xavien Diaz didn't learn his newest skill in his driveway at home, instead, he's practicing at the Faith City Ministries Shelter in Amarillo because he doesn't have a home.

He and his brother Adrian are two of the more than 300,000 homeless kids in Texas-That's more than any other state.

Their mother Stephanie says, "They do ask and wonder why." The number of people receiving meals from the High Plains Food Bank has increased 55%, and that's just since last month.

The Food Bank's Zack Wilson says, "We are literally seeing our future generations living on the streets."

Stephanie says, "It's hard on them and it's hard on you seeing your kids that way."

Amarillo's Community Development Administrator Todd Steelman says, "You've always got the need. We can identify the need. Most of the time the problem is funding."

Amarillo is now receiving some extra funding, thanks to the stimulus package, more than $700,000 towards homeless prevention.

Steelman says, "We'll have short and medium term renting assistance that may be available, and we can go other case management activities to make sure they're getting the oversight they need to try and stabilize their lives."

Getting their lives back on track means their children are more likely to graduate high school something that benefits every taxpayer.

Texas teens cost the state three billion dollars in lifelong productivity if they do not graduate from high school.

State officials are meeting in Austin on March 12th to hammer out final details regarding the homeless prevention stimulus money.