June 21, 2019 Practice Points

Volunteering to Prevent Family Homelessness

Many children enter, and stay in, foster care because of housing instability. Your pro bono work could help them.

By Cathy Krebs

Family homelessness is a growing issue that can have a devastating impact on children. 2.5 million children are homeless each year in America, which is one in every 30 children. Not only does homelessness itself cause harm to children, it puts them at risk of being removed from their families and put into foster care. Estimates are that 1 in 10 children enter the foster care system due to housing instability, and further estimates are the 30 percent of children could leave foster care and return home if their parents had stable housing. One way that lawyers can help is by providing pro bono legal services in eviction and housing cases so that families don’t lose their housing in the first place. Once homeless, it is much harder to secure stable housing. 

To volunteer in your community, contact your local legal services office or visit the ABA’s Pro Bono Directory: https://www.probono.net/oppsguide/

Cathy Krebs is the committee director of the Children's Rights Litigation Committee.


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