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Report: 29,000 Tenn. children experienced homelessness las year

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  A new report suggests Tennessee has one of the worst records for child homelessness in the nation.

A study compiled from recent federal data by the National Center for Family Homelessness ranks Tennessee 41st in the nation for child homelessness. Tennessee ranks ahead of Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama, but behind Georgia and South Carolina.

The report includes four metrics, including the number of children experiencing homelessness, the number of children at risk, the current well-being of children and whether the state has systems and plans in place for dealing with child homelessness.

Center Director Dr. Carmela DeCandia says Tennessee has a significant number of homeless children.

“Almost 29,000 (Tennesseechi) ldren were homeless in the 2012 to 2013 school year. We know a lot about child homelessness. Really, it’s a solvable problem, but the issue is we really need the political will to act.”

DeCandia says Tennessee has no formal plan for dealing with child homelessness, and also doesn’t have an interagency task force for coordinating homeless efforts between state agencies.