National Homeless Youth Awareness Month

While most associate November as the time to give thanks, it is vital to remember that many people struggle on a day-to-day basis.  Basic needs such as food, drink, shelter, and sleep obscure other areas like socialization, learning, working, and even personal safety.     

As many as 1.7 million youth experience homelessness each year according to the Department of Justice.  In Tompkins County it is difficult to estimate the total number; however, in 2014, Youth Outreach of the Learning Web recorded ~450 visits from youth ages 15-24. Homelessness is terrible for anyone, but youth are especially vulnerable.  Not only do they face numerous dangers but have a higher risk of substance abuse, early parenthood, depression, sex trafficking, and more.

So what can you do?

 1.      Recognize there is a problem, understand the scope, and learn how it impacts the community.  Many times homeless youth feel invisible and that no one cares.  Help lead strong community message to increase awareness. 

2.      Understand the reasons why youth are homeless.  Some reasons include conflict, abuse, homophobia, discrimination, and poverty.

3.      Support programs, agencies, and systems that provide the resources necessary to help homeless youth.  Agencies in Tompkins County include but are not limited to, the Learning Web, Family and Children’s Service, the Advocacy Center, Catholic Charities, Tompkins Community Action, the Department of Social Services, etc. 

4.      Endorse and support early intervention programs that can help address and even prevent youth homelessness.

It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.   

Irish proverb

If you would like to learn more about homeless youth in Tompkins County please read the Independent Living Survey that had recently interviewed 208 homeless youth. 


Monthly Messages are brought to you by the Tompkins County Youth Services Department, a proud partner of The Community Coalition for Healthy Youth.

If you have further questions or comments about this message or would like information on how to become involved with the Community Coalition for Healthy Youth, please email ahendrix@tompkins-co.org

Thank you in advance for sharing this monthly message with your networks.

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