Some random facts that may scare you:
Estimates are that one in seven youths will leave home by the age of 18 (National Runaway Switchboard, 2001).
“Every year, assault, illness, and suicide claim the lives of approximately 5,000 runaway and homeless youth” (The National Runaway Switchboard, 2001, p. 2).
Young people on the streets find it very difficult to meet their basic needs, so they may also resort to survival sex to provide for themselves.
According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, more than half of all runaways are girls (Hammer, et al., 2002).
The National Network for Youth (2003) reports that most homeless youth living on the streets are boys. Boys are more likely to be kicked out and girls more likely to run away, possibly because boys are more likely to engage in deviant behaviors that cause parents to kick them out and girls are more likely to experience sexual abuse that prompts them to run away.
The same abuse continues on the streets as girls are more likely to be raped and boys are more likely to be physically assaulted (Cauce, et al., 2000; MacLean, Embry,& Cauce, 1999).
Ensign and Bell (2004) found the average length of homelessness differed significantly according to whether the youth lived in a shelter or on the streets. For those living in shelters, the average length of homelessness was four months (range one to nine months), but the average length for those on the streets was three years (range one month to eight years).
One in eight youth under 18 will leave home and become a street person in need of services (Raleigh-DuRoff, 2004), and 40 percent do not return home
Do you have children or grandchildren or neighbors with children at risk? Do something about it before it is too late. Get help now.
I hope the picture above makes you want to cry.
Oldtimer’s comment: Click for All the Homeless Youth articles