One in 45 children, totalling 1.6 million, is homeless, the highest number in United States' history, according to a 2011 study by the National Center on Family Homelessness. California is ranked the fifth highest state in the nation for its percentage of homeless children.
Click here to see the photo essay of the Earp family, who are living in Hope Gardens Family Center, a homeless shelter for women and children on the outskirts of Los Angeles, Calfornia. The mother, Doreen Earp, 38, who is originally from Germany, and her three children ended up on the street after her relationship with Emily’s father fell apart. They stayed in a hotel for a month, then with people from their church and eventually ended up with no roof over their heads. Today, they’re lucky to be among the 150 or so other homeless women and children living at Hope Gardens. The shelter for families is an oasis compared to where most of LA’s massive street population lives on a grim patch of downtown’s Skid Row. While homeless services are concentrated downtown, it’s no place for a child. The photos were taken January 25, 2012.