Baby Antonio: 5 Pounds, 12 Ounces and Homeless From Birth
BABY ANTONIO was born homeless.
He arrived at 12:29 a.m. on a warm Thursday in August. He was purple and perfectly formed, weighing all of 5 pounds and 12 ounces. He stretched his tiny arms and legs into the air as hospital staff hovered over him to count 10 toes and 10 fingers. His skin turned from purple to a light brown, and he cried, knowing nothing about his world.
There is a picture of homelessness etched in public perception: a solitary, disheveled man, begging on a crowded sidewalk, holding a cardboard sign. But the largest single population in New York City’s shelter system is children under the age of 6.
Infants carry a disruptive power. Their births can drive entire families to homelessness or lengthen their stays in a shelter.
“Pop quiz. At what age are you most likely to be homeless?” asked Allyson Crawford, chief executive of Room to Grow, a nonprofit that helps poor parents with newborns. “The answer is 1.”
Nikita Stewart, writing for The New York Times, shares the remarkable story of Baby Antonio. When he left the hospital, he joined 11,233 under the age of six who are currently living in New York City’s shelter system. Read it HERE.