1,500 Children cared for at St. Vincent de Paul Village

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – About 1,500 children were cared for at St. Vincent de Paul Village last year, and about 40 percent were younger than 5, a spokesman for the charity announced Wednesday.

The figures were released in conjunction with a U.S. Department of Education report on homeless children in public schools that found 1.3 million youths living on the streets, “couch surfing” or part of multiple families sharing a home or motel room, up from 8 percent in 2011-12 — the most recent year for which data is available.

In San Diego, the number of homeless youths cared for by St. Vincent’s has been steady in recent years, mainly because its family rooms are typically full, said Bill Bolstad, the group’s vice president of capital development.

“The only time a room is vacant is when we’re getting it ready for the next family,” Bolstad told City News Service.

Numbers only would have fluctuated a little bit over the years depending on the size of families being served, he said.

Bolstad said he noticed a recent trend in which the number of homeless families with teenagers jumped. The 40 teens now at the village are more than he’s seen “in a really long time,” he said.

St. Vincent de Paul reported serving 703 families last year. They included 1,483 children.

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