Who is a homeless child? A homeless child is one for whom the street rather than his/her family has become a home. This child may not necessarily be homeless or without family but lived in a situation of some form of abuse, neglect, deprivation or lack of supervision or love from their parents or caregivers.
These children live rough on the streets where survival of the fittest is the order of the day. They are guided by street rules and culture which is defined by a code of street ethics. They are exposed to all manner of diseases, drugs, prostitution and basically a decadent life style with no hope of them getting a formal education or vocational skill. On a day to day basis, these children beg for money or clean windshields in traffic, they function as load carriers in the markets, they dance at shows organized at Kuramo beach, the girls are into prostitution at Kuramo beach, and they work as conductors in the motor parks all so that they can feed themselves. Their living conditions are appalling and pitiful; they sleep in cardboard boxes covered with nylon sheets on the beach or sometimes sleep under the wooden cabins when it is raining.
When these children are still quite young, they may be viewed as ‘pitiable’ but by the time they reach puberty stage, they would have evolved into delinquents who are emotionally warped, criminally inclined, addicted to hard drugs and prone to violence.
Let’s not forget that these homeless children are growing up alongside our own children and given the situation and condition that these homeless children presently exist in, they are unfortunately criminals-in-waiting. Even if we try to keep our own children safe by always having them in chauffer driven cars, enrolled in private schools or even have them school abroad, eventually our children would come home for holidays and we cannot always be with them every hour of the day to guarantee their safety. These homeless children if they are not helped now are the future armed robbers who may just be lying in wait for an opportunity to rob and harm their next unfortunate victim who could turn out to be one of our pampered naive and innocent children or even us. But we can curb the possibility of that happening by making a positive difference in the lives of these homeless children now. This is not to create undue fear but to create the awareness as to the danger and harm this scourge can constitute in the near future if it is not prevented. It has been observed that in recent times, there is a large turnout of children living on the streets of Lagos. Haven believes that with the right and timely intervention, these homeless children could still turn out to be decent, self-sufficient and independent adults