Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Happy Father's Day - Richmond, VA Boasts a 60% Single Parent Home Rate

The City of Richmond, VA is one of the country's leaders in single parent households.  This past weekend the city sponsored a Celebrate Fatherhood celebration in order to draw some attention to this very serious problem.  The number grows to 86% percent in black community of the city.  

Think about that, barely over 1 in 10 black children grow up in a two parent home.  That number is not just stunning, but horribly tragic.  Lets face it, a single parent has a much more difficult time raising a child when they don't have another person in the home to help them.  There are things that have to be done, laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, and all the other chores that have to be done to keep a household running.  When does this parent have time to read a book, throw a ball, help with homework?  I am not saying that single parents can't be wonderful.  Many single parents do a great job.  But the problems that go along with being a single parent can't be ignored.  

This isn't even an American issue:
The poverty rate for children living with a single parent has risen 15 per cent since 2001, up from 20.9 per cent to 24.1 per cent. The HILDA survey, managed by the University of Melbourne, has tracked social trends by interviewing the same 12,000 people each year since 2001.
In America:
Over one quarter of U.S. children under age 18 reside with only one of their parents, and as many as half of U.S. children may reside in a single parent family at some point in their childhood.  The vast majority - over 85% - of single parents are single mothers.
Poverty is widespread and severe in single mother families.  According to the recently released Census Bureau data on poverty in 2010, people in single mother families had a poverty rate of 42.2% and an extreme poverty rate of 21.6%.
There are very real reasons that women end up being single parents.  In some cases they leave an abusive relationship and are doing the very best that they can under difficult circumstances.  But one of the outcomes of so many children being raised in single parent homes is the fact they grow up thinking that men don't/won't stick around.  They grow up thinking that men are much more than a sperm donor.  It just creates more problems for future generations.  

Sadly, in the U.S. our government actually encourages single parent homes through our welfare system.  If you are married, you are basically punished.  It makes much more sense for a woman who is low-income to not marry.  While living on welfare certainly isn't an easy life, getting benefits is far better than getting none even though your job skills are no different if you are married or single.  

Lets take a look at crime rates in Richmond:

Richmond Crime Data

(100 is safest)Safer than 8% of
the cities
in the US.
Richmond Annual Crimes
annual crimes per 1,000 residents

Violent Crime Comparison per 1,000 residents

in Richmond 1 in 141
in  Virginia 1 in 508
Population 205,533

Richmond violent crimes
REPORT TOTAL3654686680
RATE PER 1,0000.180.263.343.31
Population 311,591,917

United States violent crimes
REPORT TOTAL14,61283,425354,396751,131
RATE PER 1,0000.

Property Crime Rate Comparison per 1,000 residents

in Richmond 1 in 22
in Virginia 1 in 44
Population 205,533

Richmond property crimes
REPORT TOTAL1,9246,500937
RATE PER 1,0009.3631.634.56
Population 311,591,917

United States property crimes
REPORT TOTAL2,188,0056,159,795715,373
RATE PER 1,0007.0219.772.30

Crimes Per Square Mile


92% of U.S. cities are safer than Richmond.  Which is really a shame.  If you have never been there, Richmond is a beautiful city filled with history.  But you need to be careful where you go or you will likely end up being a victim of crime.  Of course there will be some saying these two things are not connected.  The police chief disagrees with you.  
“I do know that a large of number of young folks we interact with do not have a father in their home and I think it’s on all of us to recognize a responsibility to help those children,” Chief Middleton said.
Wouldn't it be a good idea for the government to stop rewarding single parenthood?  From Web MD:
In the latest study, reported in the Jan. 25 issue of The Lancet, European researchers reveal that the risks facing children living with one parent may be even more widespread and immediate. They found the risk of suicide was more than twice as high among children in one-parent households compared with those living with both parents
Children in single-parent homes were also twice as likely to have a psychiatric disease, have alcohol-related problems, and were up to four times more likely to abuse drugs
Gee, what a good idea to support that.  
“We have a major father absenteeism issue in Richmond,” First Things First Executive Director Truin Huntle said. “I wish more people were discussing why this is such a major issue. We see more people beginning to give some credence to it because they are looking for the root cause of other issues like childhood poverty, poor performance in school. Father absenteeism, broken homes, broken marriages and teen pregnancy are continually being found as the root cause of those problems.”
This is a man who is on the front lines in Richmond, working every day to help children and fathers.  Maybe he is someone worth listening to. 

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