IMPACT
04/05/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Children Almost Half Of New York's Growing Homeless Population

NEW YORK -- Kariana, aged three, has a lonely existence in the New York homeless shelter her parents moved into last year. Lonely, but not alone -- there are nearly 16,000 children just like her.

Homelessness in New York has soared as a result of the damaged US economy and children make up almost half of that growing population.

Shivering outside the forbidding gates to a Brooklyn shelter, Kariana's petite mother, Karen Diaz, said she'd been homeless since arriving three months ago from Puerto Rico with her husband Pedro, Kariana, and a second daughter, aged six.

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