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Homeless children experience the world as a dangerous and uncertain place — a place where adults are always fearful, where no shelter is reliable,
where danger is ever-present.

As a community, we can show these children a world of safety and security. We can give their parents dignity. We can help them stay together as a family.


school-aged children experienced homelessness IN THE U.S. during 2017-2018 

1 in 16


In 2021, in partnership with The Center for Children's Health and other generous donors, CTL conducted surveys with families living in motels or extended stay properties throughout Tarrant County. The survey included questions about the circumstances leading to living in a motel, barriers to stable housing, and assistance needs for the family. CTL published the findings and recommendations in a new report titled "Hidden Homeless: Families Living in Motels." Some of the key points include:

  • During the project, 70 families were surveyed on-site at motel locations in Tarrant County. Over one-third of families surveyed had lived in a motel for more than six months.
  • Single-parent women represented the majority of families surveyed. Two instances of three generations of a family sharing a single room were identified.
  • Families living in motels face challenges that include a lack of privacy, safe sleeping areas for infants, cold food storage, or cooking areas.
  • Families surveyed were struggling financially. The majority of families (67%) were paying rent on a weekly basis, and the remainder (17%) were paying for the room one night at a time.

In 2016, CTL spearheaded an alliance of 39 agencies throughout Tarrant County to assess and review the conditions for children experiencing homelessness, including those with insecure housing, living in shelters or motels or experiencing street-based homelessness. The findings and recommendations were published in The Hidden Homeless Report in 2019. Some of the key points include:

  • An estimated 14,981 children experience homelessness each year in Tarrant County
  • All forms of homelessness for children cause trauma, impacting their developing brains as well as physical and emotional health.
  • The lack of affordable housing and childcare, along with limited education and employment opportunities only serves to grow this problem.
  • The current homeless service system is not equipped to handle the realities of homeless children.


If you're looking for ways to get involved, we encourage you to download the Hidden Homeless full report and its accompanying discussion guide, or click to receive the Hidden Homeless newsletter in your inbox.