The number of homeless youth has been on the rise for the past two years, and many are unable to receive assistance because of their situation. Homelessness can happen to anyone because of tragedy, struggling with addiction, or many other reasons.
One of the most disheartening reasons is what often makes most children and teenagers homeless…broken homes due to marital discord and divorce.
“First, his parents, whose marriage had imploded, disappeared. A few days later, Brewer came home from school to an eviction notice posted on the front door.” (Washington Post)
Many homeless youth are forced to the street, not by their own choice, but by the people they should naturally be able to count on and trust – their parents. According to a report done by First Focus, federal data shows that the number of homeless children and youth identified in public schools has increased for the second year in a row, and by 41% over the past two school years.
Homeless students enrolled in Indiana schools has risen by 26% in these past two school years.
This statistic is only able to capture the number of youth who are enrolled in school. Assistance for students is hard to find because many students enrolled in school are couch surfing with friends or family. Youth who do this do not qualify as homeless under the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s definition.
There are a few resources that do help Indy’s homeless youth – HealthNet’s Homeless Initiative Program, Outreach, Inc., and Schools on Wheels. The Salvation Army here in Central Indiana also offers after-school programs at our Fountain Square and Eagle Creek Corps.
Do you know of other resources for homeless youth? Let us know and we’ll share that too!