U.S. Conference of Mayors shows homelessness on the rise, increases in youth homelessness outpaced by funding, Hollywood heeds the call with two…

U.S. Conference of Mayors shows homelessness on the rise, increases in youth homelessness outpaced by funding, Hollywood heeds the call with two films tackling the issue, and New York Times magazine introduces us to Dasani, an 11 y/o homeless youth…

U.S. Conference of Mayors 31st Hunger and Homelessness Survey shows hunger and homelessness on the rise this year. Tom Cochran, executive director of the Conference of Mayors told reporters from the New Public Health blog,  “There’s no question that the nation’s economy is on the mend, but there’s also no question that the slow pace of recovery is making it difficult and, for many, impossible, to respond to the growing needs of the hungry and the homeless.” Report shows that homelessness has increased by nearly 4% (Read more)

Washington Post columnist Bernardine Watson writes that the number of homeless youth is growing as well, but funding to help them is not. The result is dire in some communities. The Homeless Alliance Youth drop-in center in San Francisco, which serves some 5,000 youth annually, closed its doors this week after 12 years of operating at the same location.

Two new films bring attention to the youth homelessness epidemic in very different ways.

On Jan 24th Vanessa Hudgens’ drama “Gimme Shelter” has the “High School Musical” star stretching her acting muscles as Apple, a pregnant teen from an abusive home (read more).

And, currently in production, “American Street Kid,” a documentary by  filmmaker Michael Leoni, chronicling interviews with  300 homeless youth over a 5 year span.

Also, New York Times investigative reporter Andrea Elliott offers a glimpse into the life of an 11 year-old homeless child in a stellar NYT Magazine series.