The Problem We Face
Thousands of Michigan children wake up each morning to a world of broken families, abandonment and neglect. They are left to wonder – why have they been forgotten? We have to ask ourselves – is this to be their final epitaph?
A child closes its eyes at night without a bed to sleep in. A brother and sister struggle to do their homework in the dark, their family having been forced to choose between eating or paying the electric bill. Then there’s the devastation children face living in a household where abuse and addiction are the norm. Those same drugs infiltrating our schools, driving a wedge between our kids and their loved ones.
These are not new problems. They are, in fact, the same problems that led to the founding of Boysville in 1948, the predecessor to Holy Cross Children’s Services. What is different is the dramatic increase in the number of children suffering today. The evaporation of property taxes and other revenue generating sources have forced government agencies to cut back services. By no fault of their own, tens of thousands of our youth are left feeling helpless and hopeless; an overburdened system rendered powerless to come to their aid.
- 59% of all U.S. children are living in one or no parent households.
- Every year, roughly 1,500 children in Michigan are in need of a foster family.
- Over half a million of our children live in poverty, or 1 in every 4 children.
- 50% of youth who age out of foster care don’t complete high school, only 2% graduate college, and 65% become homeless.
- 33,428 Michigan children were confirmed as being abused, neglected or abandoned last year, compared to 28,000 in 2005.
- The need has shattered the stereotype that this is just an “urban” problem, with just as many children coming to HCCS from rural and suburban communities.
While our mission is being tested, HCCS resolves that failure is not an option. We must act now to be able to continue being the largest private, statewide, faith-based, not-for-profit network provider of children’s services in Michigan, servicing 100% of our counties. While our commitment to protect and provide unconditional love for our children remains steadfast, it is abundantly clear that we now must turn to the private sector if HCCS is to continue its innovative and diverse programming that for over 65 years has been our children’s lifeline for a chance at a better life.
“The facts are, without help, these kids don’t fare well in our society because they often experience addiction, homelessness, incarceration, joblessness or death at higher rates than any other group of people in our country.”
Former HCCS Vice President, Program Operations