Alone on the street, youth can become victims of violence, develop serious mental health and addiction problems, and be forced to trade sex for food and shelter.
This year’s National Runaway Prevention Month theme is Friends Helping Friends. Join the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) in the effort to #EndYouthHomelessness in 2020.
You might not realize a young person is homeless if you pass them on the street or in the halls of your local school. Homeless youth can be found living on the street, on a friend’s couch or in a temporary shelter. No one’s experience is the same.
Youth from Sasha Bruce Youthwork in Washington, D.C., a Family and Youth Services Bureau grantee, share what they need as they work to overcome homelessness:
“I would like to go back to school! I would like to take up psychology and we need money to do that and we need shelter to do that so we can come and go as we please, and you know, get the education that we need.”
“I need living services. I need some more job leads. I need food. I need clothing. I need a lot.”
“I just see you have more problems when you don’t have money so money would probably be a good thing to have all the time.”
“Basically more of my family support and my son’s family.”
Stable housing, permanent connections, education, and employment can help runaway and homeless youth establish a path out of homelessness.
Formerly homeless youth share what helped them leave homelessness and find success.
“I was able to overcome homelessness because I found a reason to do so. My son. I didn’t want him to experience what I had. I couldn’t bear seeing him hungry, cold, or sick and without medical care.”
“While [the Maryland National Guard] helped me to get out of my current situation, it was years of continued learning, experiences and healing that have helped me to overcome the scars of the past. If I had to do it over again, I would reach out to someone and have a conversation to determine what options exist.”
“[The Night Ministry] opened a low barrier youth shelter which allowed folks to come in as they are. They were there just solely to provide the support that you needed at that time, which blew my mind because I never thought that someone would be willing to give or to help without receiving something in return.”
Through the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act, the Family & Youth Services Bureau has provided funding to programs tailored to the needs of homeless and unstably housed teens and young adults since 1974. Street outreach, emergency shelter and transitional living programs across the country provide young people with the tools and support they need to leave homelessness behind forever.
We’ve combined our reporting system with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to paint a more complete picture of homelessness in the United States. Also, we’re working together on the new Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program, which will provide funding to 10 communities across the country to reduce the number of youth experiencing homelessness.
We know homeless youth need a variety of services, and to be successful, those agencies and organizations need to work together. We’re committed to working with our federal partners to address the health, well-being and future of runaway and homeless youth.
Almost 600 FYSB-supported programs across the country—and many others that don’t get federal funding—provide vital services to homeless youth. Find a program in your community and ask how you can help.Grantees of the Family and Youth Services Bureau
Sign up for updates from the National Clearinghouse on Families & Youth to keep up with FYSB’s work to end youth homelessness.
Join the conversation and spread the word on social media, encouraging your community to #EndYouthHomelessness. Here are some sample messages to get you started:
This #NRPM2016 is about “Friends Helping Friends” to #EndYouthHomelessness. Learn what you can do: http://bit.ly/1OVUj1H
Learn what homeless youth need to escape homelessness, find success: http://bit.ly/1OVUj1H #EndYouthHomelessness #NRPM2016
DYK there's a 24/7 hotline for runaway & #homelessyouth? Learn more in new PSAs from @FYSBgov http://bit.ly/1OVUj1H