There are more than 1 million homeless children in the United States, each with a set of issues unique to their circumstances. But in a particularly Los Angeles twist on these issues, tens of thousands of those in the southland must also deal with the public transportation challenges this city poses. Many of these children awake at 4 a.m. and take several bus and rail rides, involving two or three transfers, just to make it to school on time.
How do these challenges affect the youths' ability to do well in school - and is there anything the city can do to ameliorate problems as it places families in temporary housing?
I'm a public radio reporter and producer, as well as a Web producer/designer/developer. My stories have aired/appeared in/on NPR's "Morning Edition," "All Things Considered," Marketplace, NYTimes.com and other outlets/publications.
I got clued into the issue of homeless kids commuting because I volunteer with a nonprofit organization called School on Wheels, which matches volunteer tutors with such children. Disclosure: Each week, I tutor a 10 year-old girl at her shelter. So, I already have the kids set up with whom I'll be commuting - two brothers - ages 13 and 17. (Note: The boys are not my pupils and are not tutored through School on Wheels.)
I'll create a feature for public radio and a Web-based piece to accompany it, possibly detailing the route these kids take in more material terms than possible in a brief radio piece.
Photo by svanes via Flickr.