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