Families are not always easy, that is one thing the entirety of the human race can agree on. Unlike most things in life, we consider family to be something we have absolutely no say in. It’s like getting a lottery ticket, that’s your jackpot and it's yours to do with what you will, there’s no getting rid of it, or passing it off to someone else. It’s your to love and hate, respectively.
Sometimes though, these families can be toxic, especially to the children within them. According to statistics put forth by our government, there is an estimated 1.3 million youths between the ages of 12 and 17 who are living homeless, having run away from their families, foster care, or other institutional organizations. 1.3 Million! In scale, that is almost 5% of the entire youth population of the United States., and these statistics not only reign true for the US, but worldwide with over 100 Million homeless youths stretching over 7 continents. It’s easy to see, that homeless youth in a global epidemic. However, there are things we can do to help, and places that these people can go to get help.
State and Federal Aid
Almost all 50 states in the US have programs in place to help homeless youth. These include programs such as providing housing, jobs, schooling, and family aid. If you are a homeless youth, or know of one, looking into free state aid is a great way to get these individuals off the streets, and back on a stable and safe path of life.
Shelters and Food
If one is to find themselves in a situation where they’ve no safe shelter or source of food, there are a number of places youth can look to get aid. Many cities have a branch of Salvation Army in their area, and this organization is a wonderful resource for those living on the streets or in destitution. Town/City food pantries, homeless shelters, and even some churches are also valuable sources of aid.
It is estimated that 1 in 7 children will run away at some point between the ages of 12 and 17, this is an alarming rate. As expected therefore, it is more than likely that in a number of situations a misunderstanding, or misplaced anger, could be the cause of this saddening event. If this happens to be the case, there are a number of ways a parent/guardian/loved one of these individuals can help locate and protect their missing family members. The National Runaway Safeline is an organization that works specifically to protect homeless youth, and reconnect them with their families if at all possible, as well as providing resources and counseling to both parties.
For Runaways (or prospective runaways)
For those looking to help
Written by Listener: Skylar
Mental illness truly is a burden on one's physical, emotional and mental health. It obscures your perception of yourself, others, the world and life in general. A common complaint is "What is the point?"
What is the point of continuing in the dark tunnel when you can't see the light? What's the point of fighting if all you're going to do is wake up and continue fighting? What's the point of living if things are just going to get worse? What is the point. Mental illness blurs your vision and you're no longer able to depict what life used to be like or could be like without the suffering. The illness becomes your entire world, and you lose hope, become unmotivated and most of all unhappy.
If there was no bad in the world, what value does the good hold? Life will always hit a low point, not because of you, not because of your choices or because of your character. No matter who you are or what you've done, there will always be a low point in life - and there most certainly will be very many indeed. But we forget that this is what life is. Life has good and bad. So why do we blame ourselves or other influences when things go wrong? Life will throw everything at you, life will have dips, life will be unfair. But you have the power to change that. See the good in the bad, and you'll soon see a lot less of the bad. It's all about perception and you have the ability to change and shift your universe to what ever you see fit. When you concentrate on the bad, you see bad in the good, and soon you'll lose your harmony and balance.
People rarely understand the importance and power of positive thinking. Seeing the Good in the Bad can and will change your life. I no longer see mental illness as a burden, instead I'm forever grateful for it. Without my suffering I wouldn't be me. Without my struggles I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't have the opportunity to help others or meet all these incredible people. Our struggles have united us. Our dedication to help others and seek help is all derived from a common pain. 7 Cups has been founded because of people like us. Without us, 7 Cups and many many other incredible organizations wouldn't have come in to existence. We have truly changed history, our existence has an influence. And this just proves how essential each and every individual is.
Live life for the good, bad and the absolutely amazing. The pain only makes you treasure the happiness so much more. And it's the people who have truly suffered who know what happiness truly is. It is the people who had nothing who know what the value of wealth is. It's the people who make mistakes who understand the meaning of success. It's the people who've hit rock bottom, that know how to get to the top. It's the people who were beaten down and wounded that were the strongest ones as they got back up and continued to battle. You are warriors. You are survivors and you are fighting an internal battle.
Never lose sight of what's important. Put your hand over your chest, feel that? It's called a purpose. You are here today because you are going to influence this world. Truly the world would not be what it is without you, nor will the future. Your existence has changed the past, present and future of the planet permanently. Never give in and never give up. Usually the moment you're at your breaking point, and ready to give up is the moment right before miracles happen. You will never reach a point in life where it will be only happy days. Life will always get better, get worse, become mundane but overall turn out to be spectacular. Maybe miracles have become so common that we now see them as ordinary. It's important to realize the true beauty of the world and understand your true capabilities. You're an intelligent being with the ability to contemplate, wonder, question and find answers - how incredible is that? I don't know about you, but I think every single living person is a miracle. You all have the ability to make a difference. Every day you're granted life is truly amazing - even if they are common occurrences, they still are extraordinary to me.
So see the good in the bad. Because the moment you see the beauty in life, is the day you set yourself on the road to recovery.
Written by 7 Cups Listener: MidniteAngel