Palm Beach County kids: new face of homelessness

1,636 kids identified as homeless

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - They are growing in number and they speak to the grinding poverty faced by so many in our community. There may be a new face of homelessness in Palm Beach County. Children.

"My name is Jamorris and I'm 12 years old." Jamorris Boswell, a middle school student, has already been through a lifetime of struggles. "I didn't like it."

Sadly - and shockingly - Jamorris' story is not unique. 1,636 students in Palm Beach County schools have been identified as homeless over the last year.

Jamorris' mother, Karen Joseph says she and her husband's relationship of 17 years suddenly soured.

"I had to stay stronger for my kids," she said. "I did not want them to feel the way that I was feeling. Late at night, I would go into my bed and cry." Joseph says her husband cut off all contact - and money - to her and their four kids. She suddenly had no income, no job and shortly after, this family had no home.

"My mom would sleep in different rooms, not with my dad anymore and I noticed that they weren't talking to each other when we were at home," said Jamorris.

The Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County is helping Karen and Jamorris and the rest of the family get back on track. She and the family now frequently visit The Lewis Center, for job training and financial assistance to get by.

"To me, it shut us down," she said. "I couldn't believe this happen to us. I couldn't believe it. It can happen to anybody."

The Homeless Coalition is fundraising with a 'Walk The Walk' 5K race on the morning of Saturday, February 23 in downtown West Palm Beach. Details about the event can be found be clicking here. The goal on that one day is to help 20 local families like the one you just met.

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