BALTIMORE - From 2005 through 2009, home foreclosures in Baltimore City nearly doubled, but the impact reaches far beyond the financial.
"Most people understand and study foreclosures, how it impacts families, how it impacts wealth, how it impacts neighborhoods, but most people don't understand how it impacts children."
So Matthew Kachura with the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance at the University of Baltimore set out to find out.
His program studied the amount of Baltimore city school children affected by foreclosures.
What he found was a 19 percent increase in children affected, a stat not previously kept.
The recent numbers show one in every 37 students are affected by a city foreclosure or about 12 students per city school.
"It's huge, the impact is huge."
Dante de Tablan is a community school coordinator and has worked with some of the foreclosure kids; there is no question he says, a foreclosure at home is a major disruption.
"Then they are not focused with school,” said de Tablan, “They are focused on what is going to happen to me tonight, where are they going to sleep tonight, who are they going to meet tonight. So their attention is not on homework. Their attention is on survival."
A problem educators and officials can now firmly put their finger on, relying on a new study to see the full breadth of the problem.
"The thing we were originally trying to do is publicize the fact that here is additional information and here is something that previously wasn't looked at which is how does foreclosure impact children and how many are we actually talking about," said Kachura.
Hard numbers finally defining a hard problem.
If you would like to look at the full study you can find it here.
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