60 Minutes | Homeless Children: The Hard Times Generation

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Homeless children: the hard times generation

Scott Pelley reports on the growing number of children who are falling victim to the financial crisis

(CBS News)Unemployment improved a bit last month but it is still nearly nine percent and the trouble is job creation is so slow, it will be years before we get back the seven and a half million jobs lost in the Great Recession. American families have been falling out of the middle class in record numbers. The combination of lost jobs and millions of foreclosures means a lot of folks are homeless and hungry for the first time in their lives. 

One of the consequences of the recession that you don’t hear a lot about is the record number of children descending into poverty.

The government considers a family of four to be impoverished if they take in less than $22,000 a year. Based on that standard, and government projections of unemployment, it is estimated the poverty rate for kids in this country will soon hit 25 percent. Those children would be the largest American generation to be raised in hard times since the Great Depression.

In Seminole County, near Orlando, Fla., so many kids have lost their homes that school busses now stop at dozens of cheap motels where families crowd into rooms, living week to week.

Destiny Corfee, 11, joined the line at one local motel a year ago. “I never really noticed what people were actually going through until now; until we’re actually going through it too,” she told “60 Minutes” correspondent Scott Pelley.

Destiny’s parents David and Theresa never imagined their family homeless. Together they were making about $40 an hour detailing expensive cars. There was a three-bedroom home, vacations and extras for the kids. But both jobs went, and then the house. Evicted, they found that the homeless shelters wanted to split their family up – boys and girls.

“That was definitely something that I wasn’t gonna have, was being separated at a time like this. I figured the time like this that we needed to be together more than anything,” David Corfee said.

So David, Theresa, Destiny, Jorge and Chance, moved into their van.

“I was embarrassed that maybe one of my friends might see me. I don’t want anybody to know that I was actually in there,” Destiny told Pelley.

The van, according to Destiny, was parked at a WalMart.

“We would actually go in WalMart and clean our self up before we’d go to school,” her brother Jorge remembered.

“How would you do that?” Pelley asked.

“I would like wash my face, and like, take a tissue and wash my arms and stuff,” Jorge explained.

“We would bring the toothpaste and the toothbrush and the brushes so we’ll go brush our hair in the mirror and people would see us,” Destiny added. “And it would be kind of weird. But we worked through it.”

“Tell me about the motel that you’re living in now,” Pelley said.

“Well, it’s a lot better than the van!” Destiny replied.

But Jorge pointed out the living space is small: two rooms for the five of them. Their possessions, family photos – you name it – went into storage. And they lost it all, seized and sold, when they couldn’t pay that bill.

“Most of my stuff was in there; my scooter, my game system, all my games, my clothes. So I lost most of my stuff,” Jorge said.

“I had so many of my toys and things. My Barbie dolls, clothes, and it was just all gone,” Destiny said.

The neighborhood around the motel is scary, she added. “You hear on the news all the time about shootings, and it’s all right there.”

Produced by Robert G. Anderson, Nicole Young and Daniel Ruetenik

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6 Responses to “60 Minutes | Homeless Children: The Hard Times Generation”
  1. Pamela says:

    Can you believe our children are now blaming themselves for fore closure and mortgage fraud.It is unreal that an 11 year old would feel like shes to blame because some flippen thug took her parents home and kids are going without food voluntarily to be able to help thier parents make ends meet.Or saying they feel resposible about all this because thier parents have to support them and don’t have as much to pay out on bills.WOW I’m totally heart broken by the kids in this video.You know screw the scum bag banks no child should ever be made to feel this way.I was faced with this decision years ago and told the bank take the house it means a lot less to me than my children,walked away maybe not willingly and never looked back. The rest of the nation needs to do the same and stop this madness.

  2. Right now, more than 500 people are making lots of noise outside the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency – the worst bank regulator that you never heard of. They are demanding that the OCC stop throwing homeowners under the bus in the their tireless efforts to protect the big banks.

    Join the crowd by calling OCC Chief John Walsh right now at 202-874-5000. Tell him, “We need the OCC to take its responsibility seriously and hold banks accountable for fixing the foreclosure mess.” And be sure to follow the day’s events on Twitter at #makewallstpay

    Over the past weeks, it has emerged that this little-known bank regulator is working hard to weaken any settlement that the Attorneys General and other bank regulator reach with the big banks on their fraudulent foreclosure practices.

    Yes, that’s right. The biggest threat to a strong settlement actually comes from the very regulator who is supposed to be protecting us from the bank’s abusive behavior. But this isn’t anything new for the OCC. For years, they’ve turned a blind eye to the worst financial abuses on Wall Street.

    We have to tell them, “Stop!” Call OCC Chief John Walsh right now at 202-874-5000.

    Together, we can make sure this a “settlement that fits the crime.”

    Thank you,

  3. l vent says:

    Ponzi Scheme+Fraud+Corruption=Destruction

  4. Officer of the Law says:

    Thanks the banksters and their scumbag, bribe taking minions in government for the improverishment of America. Remember, every prosecutor is on the banksters’ payroll.

  5. MAGGIE DA QUEEN says:


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