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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Step Up and Be the Parent!

There all kinds of families, families with several parents, families that are separated, and families that have kids from other families that come and go! There are also young people who have no family. For whatever reason, these young people have no mother, no father, no food, no bed, and no place to call home. They often become prey for pedophiles, pimps, drug pushers, or sex traffickers. To me, this is inexcusable of our society. No matter the sacrifice, Our society is responsible and needs to step up and give them love, a family, and most important, acceptance. No matter the reason why they left, why they are homeless, it is our job to make room for them and love them.
Homeless Teens 

My mother was one of those individuals who always had room for one more at the table, a spare bed, couch, extra clothes, a warm bath and even some guidance if it was needed. We weren't "rich" but we managed to share what we had. I remember one young man who wanted help getting off of drugs and alcohol and she walked with him to the rehab center. I watched as she treated each one as if they were her own child. Sure, I was jealous sometimes, but I knew that she was making a difference in someone's life. It was my job, as a member of our family, to give that person the acceptance and love that they needed. 

According to the National Coalition for the Homeless
  1. There are approximately 1.7 million homeless teens in the U.S.
  2. 39 percent of the homeless population is young people under 18.
  3. About 75 percent of homeless teens use drugs or alcohol as a means to self-medicate to deal with the traumatic experiences and abuse they face.
  4. 5,000 young people die every year because of assault, illness, or suicide while on the street.
  5. A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study found that 46 percent of homeless youth left their home because of physical abuse. 17 percent left because of sexual abuse.
  6. Approximately 40 percent of homeless teens identify as LGBT.
  7. Over 50 percent of young people in shelters and on the streets report that their parents told them to leave or knew they were leaving and didn’t care.
  8. The average age a teen becomes homeless is 14.7 years.
  9. 1 in 7 young people between the ages of 10 and 18 will run away.
  10. Teens age 12 to 17 are more likely to become homeless than adults.
  11. HIV rates for homeless young people are 2 to 10 times higher than reported rates for other samples of adolescents in the U.S.
Positive family dynamics foster social, emotional, and cultural growth in individuals. Having a family to support you, someone you can communicate with, and will always be there for you, can often be the link between life and death. Parents, you need to remember how important it is to remain open and accepting  while providing a stable and structured atmosphere. Children will be more willing to communicated with you, if you are honest and open with them. Homeless youth don't choose to be homeless. They begin to fall through the cracks in school with poor grades, bad choices, and with no guidance, become lost. All children need late night hugs, reassurance that they are loved and treasured, and lots of hugs, lots of love, (I can't stress that enough) and a parent who is involved with them forever and always. 

There are homeless youth everywhere. It isn't somebody else's problem, it is our problem. Take charge and make a difference because every life is precious.

Share your advice, experience, and thought!

1 comment:

  1. I wish there were more places for homeless teens. We have some at my school who stay wherever they can.

    ReplyDelete

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