We’re getting ready for National Youth Homelessness Awareness Month. It doesn’t make our efforts here at CGHW much different, however, for many people in the United States, this is a time to reflect on the pressing issue of youth homelessness and to take action towards ending it.
The Reality of Youth Homelessness
The reality of youth homelessness is harsher than many realize. According to a study by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, one in 10 young adults between the ages of 18-25 experiences a form of homelessness over a year. That's approximately 3.5 million young people. For adolescents aged 13-17, the number is one in 30.
These figures are not just statistics. They represent real individuals with dreams, hopes, and talents. These young people face daily struggles that most of us cannot even imagine, living without a stable place to sleep, often going hungry, and confronting danger on the streets.
How Covenant House Greater Washington Helps
We go beyond providing immediate shelter, food and clothing. We also offer comprehensive solutions through programs designed to address the unique needs of each young person. These include:
Immediate Care: Providing food, shelter, clothing, and crisis care to youth who have nowhere else to turn.
Educational and Vocational Programs: Helping youth to continue their education and gain useful vocational skills.
Job Readiness and Placement Programs: Assisting young people in finding and maintaining employment.
Mental Health and Substance Use Services: Offering counseling and treatment to address mental health issues and substance use.
Transitional Housing Programs: Providing supportive, semi-independent housing for youth who are working and/or going to school.
How You Can Help in November
Youth Homelessness Awareness Month is an opportunity for each of us to play a role in ending youth homelessness. Here's how you can contribute:
Sleep Out: A Global Movement to End Youth Homelessness. Give up your bed for one night to ensure that youth facing homelessness can sleep safely at Covenant House GW.
Donate to Sleep Out: We rely on the generosity of donors to fund their crucial services. Every donation, no matter how small, makes a difference.
Advocate: Raise awareness about youth homelessness and CHGW’s work. Share information on social media, talk to friends and family, or write to your local representatives.
As we gear up to observe Youth Homelessness Awareness Month, let's remember that every young person deserves a safe, loving environment where they can grow and thrive.