Did you know that there is a large population of homeless youth in the United States? According to the National Network for Youth, “there are 1.68 million homeless youth in the U.S. each year.” That is a huge number! You may be thinking, “How did they become homeless at such a young age?” The National Network for Youth asserts that there are several factors that influence the outcome of homelessness for youth. These factors include: family dysfunction, sexual abuse, “aging out” of foster care, the involvement of the juvenile justice system, and economic hardship. The commonality between these factors is that most youth do not choose to become homeless; it is the result of a desperate situation.
The effects of homelessness on youth can be devastating. Homeless youth are five times more likely to become pregnant than youth who are not homeless. They suffer a greater risk of being sexually abused, and contracting various sexually transmitted diseases. Homeless youth are at a greater disadvantage when it comes to finishing school and securing a job and often end up incarcerated. They also suffer higher rates of depression, anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
These facts may seem daunting and hopeless which is why the services offered at Villages of Hope are so vital. The mission of Villages of Hope is to “strengthen families and ensure the well-being of homeless young adults in our community.” With their primary need of housing met, these individuals and families are offered the skills and support necessary to live with dignity, independence and stability. The staff at Villages of Hope works with the residents to complete their high school education or earn their GED. They teach them life skills and help them get a job or further their education to ultimately become successful, thriving citizens of society.
Villages of Hope is turning the statistics that once seemed hopeless into stories of hope:
- 98% of our youth are employed
- 91% of our youth are enrolled in post-secondary education
- 99% are debt free or have paid their debt in full
- 100% either received their high school diploma/GED or are working to complete their high school diploma/GED
- 100% of our youth either obtained or maintained stable housing and successfully transitioned to healthy independence
- 97% of our youth have made contributions towards their savings account!
- 100% of our youth received a physical exam
- 97% of our youth visited a dentist
Villages of Hope is turning the tide for the homeless youth in our region but they cannot do it alone. It takes a community of people to care for these young adults and instill hope for the future. To learn more about how you can get involved in changing the lives visit: http://www.villagesofhope.net/
For more information on homeless youth, visit: https://www.nn4youth.org/wp-content/uploads/Homeless-Youth-in-America-Who-Are-They.pdf
*Villages of Hops statistics are based on monthly average percentages, based on Calendar Year 2015.