Category Archives: National Runaway Switchboard

How many homeless youth are there?

How many Kids are Homeless?

There is a  Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report to Congress with information on this subject titled Runaway and Homeless Youth: Demographics, Programs, and Emerging Issues which was published in January 2007.  This link is to their 37 page report. 

I think they are being honest when they say this:

The precise number of homeless and runaway youth is unknown due to their residential mobility and overlap among the populations. Determining the number of these youth is further complicated by the lack of a standardized methodology for counting the population and inconsistent definitions of what it means to be homeless or a runaway.

Estimates of the homeless youth population range from 52,000 to over one million.  Estimates of runaway youth – including “thrownaway” youth – are between 1 million and 1.7 million.

Part of the problem of counting homeless youth is that they often avoid shelters and more or less hide in inaccessable areas where they avoid counters.  Some hide out with friends, others take to the woods and alleys, even the rails.  You may have seen an earlier post of mine (Homeless Youth Project) where loose groups of homeless youth ride the rails around the country.  Youth that do come into contact with census counters are reluctant to admit that they are homeless.    

The 52,000 to over 1 million estimates are based on a series of counting attempts through the decades.    A 1987 GAO report estimated 52,000 to 170,000 homeless on any one night.  CDC’s 1992 National Health Interview Survey of youth ages 12 to 17 determined that 5% of those they surveyed had been homeless during some part of the prior year.  That estimate came to more than a million youth that experienced homelessness during that year.

The latest federal survey was conducted by NISMART – (National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway and Throwaway Children) which was conducted in 1999.  That study found that 1.8 million youth under age 18 left home or were asked to leave home in 1999 (at some time during the year). 

The NISMART-2 study for 1999 shows that:

1.8 million youth under age 18 experienced homelessness

68% were between the ages of 15 and 17 (1,224,000)

32% were 14 or younger (612,000) 

20% reported sexual abuse in the home (360,000)

33% reported family conflict in the home (600,000)

there were about an equal number of males and females

57% were White, 17% Black, 15% Hispanic

about 11,000 were runaway foster children

more than half left home for more than 1 to 6 days

30% traveled 1 to 10 miles from home

30% traveled 11 to 50 miles from home

nearly 99% were returned to their homes

That leaves more than 18,000 that never came back that year.

Another study, reported by Jan Moore,  Unaccompanied and Homeless Youth Review of Literature (1995-2005)  ,  reported 1 million to 1.3 million homeless youth.   I reported on this study earlier, see How many of the Homeless are Youth? 

Also see a forum report I presented in 2006 on the Cobb Faith Partnership site titled:  Homelessness Among Children and Youth – Basic Facts in which 1.35 million homeless children are reported homeless in a given year, according to the National Law Center.    The numbers seem to be centering around 1.3 million with a spread of 300,000 either way.   I feel that the numbers probably fluctuate wildly on any given day in any given year, much like trying to get the average level of a raging river.

Factors Influencing Homelessness and Leaving Home:  Youth most often cite family conflict as the major reason for their homelessness or episodes of running away. A literature review of homeless youth found that a youth’s relationship with a step-parent, sexual activity, sexual orientation, pregnancy, school problems, and alcohol and drug use were strong predictors of family discord.  14% of Foster kids that age out of the system experience homelessness the first year and 25% at sometime overall.   Another report shows 20%.

Of those callers who used the National Runaway Switchboard (a federally-sponsored call center for youth and their relatives involved in runaway incidents) one third attributed family conflict as the reason for their call.  Runaway and homeless youth also describe abuse and neglect as common experiences.  Over 20% of youth in the NISMART-2 reported being physically or sexually abused at home in the prior year
or feared abuse upon returning home.

Congress has funded 102 million dollars for three federal funded programs:

Basic Center Program: To provide outreach, crisis intervention, temporary shelter, counseling, family unification, and after care services to runaway and homeless youth under age 18 and their families.

Transitional Living Program: To support projects that provide homeless youth ages 16 to 21 with stable, safe longer-term residential services up to 18 months (or longer if the youth has not reached age 18), including counseling in basic life skills, interpersonal skills building, educational advancement, job attainment skills, and physical and mental health care. 

Street Outreach Program: To provide street-based outreach and education, including treatment, counseling, provision of information, and referrals for runaway, homeless, and street youth who have been subjected to or are at risk of being subjected to sexual abuse and exploitation.

Those are the facts on homeless youth, the best that I can report at this time.   You can select whatever set of data suits your purpose, but it appears the most current data comes in somewhere between 1 and 1.8 million kids that experience homelessness in any given year, centering around 1.3 million youth.  

There is no good estimate as to how many that amounts to on any given night, but if you are one of those kids, it is way too many. 

Those are our kids out there

Some Special Links:

Click to see all Oldtimer Speaks Out homeless youth articles (35 so far).

Click here if you came here to find Oldtimer’s articles on Homeless Veterans (75 so far)

Grace and Peace,


Fourteen Year Old Girl Cry for Help

Fourteen Year Old Cry for Help

NRS gifThe following exchange is between a 14 year old pregnant girl and the National Runaway Switchboard.   It is long, but has a good ending.   To make a long story short, the girl found their bulletin board and put in a call for help.  The following back and forth exchanges illustrate the way these fine people work.   If you know of a troubled teen that is contemplating suicide or running away or suspect is being abuse/molested, then you should consider giving them the NRS phone number 1800.RUNAWAY.   A number like that is easy to remember.   

Peer Pressure
Are you feeling pressured from your friends to do things you know you shouldn’t do?

I need help…. A.S.A.P – 5/28/2007

Reply: A reply from NRS – 5/28/2007
Reply: me again – 5/28/2007
Reply: Reply from NRS – 5/28/2007
Reply: when – 5/28/2007
Reply: Reply from NRS – 5/28/2007
Reply: when – 5/28/2007
Reply: Reply to NRS – 5/29/2007
Reply: thanks – 5/29/2007
Reply: a response from NRS – 5/29/2007

I need help…. A.S.A.P
OK, I am 14 years old and have a bad drinking problem. Since I have this drinking problem it has made me make bad choices. And the thing is that now I am pregnant. I am 10 weeks and don’t know what to do anymore. My parents don’t know and I don’t want to tell them. I also don’t know who the father is. I tried talking to my parents and asked them what they would do if I ever got pregnant and they said that they would send me away to boarding school and my mom said she would put the guy in jail and my dad said he would kill him. What do I do? If I do tell my parents can they make me get an abortion or put it up fir adoption? I want to keep it but I don’t want to go away to boarding school. Can my parents do that? How do I deal with all of this? I can’t do it on my own anymore. I need to talk to someone about it.

A reply from NRS
Thanks for sharing your story. Sounds like there is some intense stuff going on in your life right now. Do you have anyone else you can talk to about this? Friends, teachers, relatives, etc? It also sounds like you don’t want to get an abortion. The truth is your parents can’t make you get an abortion but there are things that parents say and do to try and convince people to do certain things. Sometimes they make them feel guilty about stuff. Do you want to continue with the pregnancy? Do you have any plans for when things happen? What is the ideal situation for you right now? Seems like you’re asking for more support from your parents. Could someone help you communicate that to your parents so they don’t get mad at you while telling them? Your situation is a special one and it’s a bit difficult to talk about issues like these via the internet. Do you think you can call in (don’t worry, we’re anonymous and confidential) and we can talk about right and options you might have. We are here 24/7 to talk about whatever you need to-1800.RUNAWAY

me again
I’m sorry but there is no one else that I can talk to because I don’t trust people anymore. The people at my school wanted to call the cops because they think that I was raped and I was telling them that I think that it was my fault but I don’t know what to tell them anymore. I try to talk to my mom about it but she just stops the conversation or starts yelling at me. I can’t handle it anymore. I know its early but my stomache is getting bigger and I though my parents would realize it by now. Because I haven’t had my period or anything… But you guys are my last place that I could go to get help because I don’t need to get the cops involved and I like how you are confidential. I’m sorry again but I can’t call because my parents would somehow find out.. If you could please just help me over the internet… Thanks

Reply from NRS
Thank you for contacting us again. It sounds like you’re in a really difficult situation, and you want to tell your family that your pregnant but are having a hard time doing so. In the beginning of the bulletin you mentioned telling your friends that you were raped, but thinking that it was your fault. Nobody deserves to be violated in that way, and if somebody made you do something you did not want to do, that is wrong, and it is in no way your fault. You said that you have tried many times to tell your mother but she is not very responsive and even yells at you. What are the arguments usually about? Do you think there is a different way to go about talking to her that might be easier? What about writing her a letter? It also sounds like both of your parents are still not aware that you’re pregnant. How do you think they would react if you told them? I’m also wondering if you have been to any kind of medical facility. Have you already decided what you’re going to do with the baby? It sounds like your not comfortable calling so if you felt comfortable giving us what city and state you live in, we might be able to look up some services in your area that would be helpful. Are there specific services you were thinking of? You can contact us again through the bulletin page. I did want to give you two national resources that might be helpful… Planned Parenthood 1-800-230-7526 RAINN (Rape Abuse Incest National Networks) 1-800-656-4673 Good luck with everything and contact us again if you want more resources.

When my mother and I argue it is usually about the way I dress or the people I hang out with. She has called me a ho and a slut but she doesn’t know anything about me and I hate how she judges me. I have gone to plan parent hood and they said that I have until friday to figure out what I want to do with the baby or it is going to be to late to get a abortion. My father used to hit me because he didn’t like the way I act and he said that I am not ggod enough to be in his family. They have kicked me out a couple of times and I have run away about 5 times. Some people say that I am better off to go to a shelter than stay at my house. But I won’t be able to leave my brothers and sisters and all my animals behind. When ever I run away my parents call the cops and they just come pick me up, bring me down to the station and then my parents come and pick me up.. Its the same routine every time. When my father was hitting me I told him that if he ever did it again I would report him and then he would never see me again and I will get all of his kids taken away from him, so he stopped. I know that no one deserves to be raped or anything like that but it was kinda my fault because I shouldn’t have been at the party I was at, I shouldn’t have been drinking and I shouldn’t have been wearing the clothes that I was wearing. I just wish that I could rewind my life and start over but unfortunetly I can’t. I am located in orange county, california. So if there is any place that you could tell me to go or call that would be great.. Thanks for all your help and sorry this is so long!!!!

Reply from NRS
Thanks for contacting us again. You sound like you not only have a lot of difficult situations going on in your life right now, but that you’ve been through a lot of tough times in the past. I’m sorry to hear that your father used to hit you, nobody deserves to be treated that way. You said that he doesn’t hit you anymore, but did you ever tell anybody when he did that? And I know you think you put yourself in a bad situation the night you got raped, but whether that is true or not, nobody has the right to hurt you like that. Right now it sounds like the biggest situation you’re dealing with is whether you are going to keep your baby or not. Have you considered what both options would be like? What would it be like to have the baby? What would it be like to have an abortion? I looked up a couple of services in your area that might be able to help. New Hope Teen line 1-714-639-4673 LDS Family Services 1-714-444-3463 (provides free counseling for pregnant girls) Touchstones 1-714-639-5542 (Adolescent Alcohol/Drug Treatment) Community Service Programs, Inc. 1-949-494-4311 (24hr helpline) (Provides youth shelter, crisis referrals, education) Hopefully some of these numbers will help, good luck with everything.

When my father was hitting me I never told anyone except for my best friend last year. One day it got so bad that I went to school with hand prints on my legs and two black eyes. I never really got up the courage to tell anyone. I don’t know what I want to do with my baby because if I keep it I know that it will change my life for ever and people at my school will start talking shit on me and start calling me a slut and bad stuff like that. My parents said that they would send me away to boarding school, because I just asked them what they would do as a random quiestion. I don’t think I would be able to handle not being able to see my friends parents are already to over protective. If I don’t think I would be able to put my baby up for adoption because its like giving your baby away. If I were to have the baby it would change my life forever and I wouldn’t be able to go to school. And if I were to get a abortion I wouldn’t have to tell my parents that I was ever pregnant but I would have to keep that a secret for ever. Is it worth telling the cops? Because I don’t think that there is anything they could do to find the guy because I have no clue to who it could be. And what would happen if I do decide to kep the baby and my parents kick me out? Would I be stuck on the streets and be pregnant? Thanks for all of your help

Reply to NRS
It sounds like you have a lot to think about, and you’re really trying to look at the situation from every angle and understand how each option would affect your life. If you need any more help or perhaps other resources you can always email us at I know you said talking on the phone isn’t really an option because of you’re parents, but is there any way you can use the phone at a friends house, pay phone, school. It might be a little bit easier to discuss some options and talk about your situation. Good luck.

I never thought about using the phone at school, ill try that tomarrow. Is there any way that you could tell me where a place is that I could go and get an abortion, if I decide to get one? Thanks again..

a response from NRS
You can try Planned Parenthood. They hotline is 1-800-230-7526. Good luck.
thanks again

I just wanted to say that you guys have helped me so much… I think you saved my babies life. If I didn’t ask you guys quiestion I don’t know what I would have done… Thanks

This article is only one of more than 27 posts on homeless youth .  In addition there are more than  50 homeless veteran posts.     If you are interested in more, click one of these links.  Thank you for coming by.  Please consider adding me to your feed (see link below my picture.)   Thanks,Oldtimer

scared to say anything and about to give up

scared to say anything and

about to give up

The following is a real email to the National Runaway Switchboard from a 12 year old who is being victimized by step dad and contemplating runaway or suicide.  Read it and weep, then say hoo-ray! as she is helped out of the situation.

NRS gifFind this NRS call for help here

I’m 12 years old and live with my step dad and my mom. My step dad hits me and does other things to me. I had told my mom and all she tells me is that its my fault for i should behave and he wouldn’t do that.

I’m scared to sleep at night cause he comes in my room. thought about running away and I’m thinking about suicide actually I’m not thinking I’m planning it. I just can’t handle this anymore. I know or actually i feel its my fault so maybe i should get rid of the problem and that problem is me. I could really use some help from you people responding to me. thank you for listening to me

Reply from NRS

Thank you for contacting the National Runaway Switchboard. It sounds like a really difficult situation for you at home right now. There are several agencies out there willing and wanting to help youth in your position. 1)RAINN (RAPE ABUSE INSEST NATIONAL NETWORK) 1-800-656-4673 2) NATIONAL SUICIDE HOTLINE 1-800-273-TALK. Both of these hotlines are 24 hours a day, just like ours at 1-800-RUNAWAY. We are ALWAYS here to listen, not blame or judge just listen. If there is ever a time that you want to talk please feel free to call one of the hotlines. Best Wishes

Scared answers:

thank you i had called and now i’m in a safe place. i thank you for those numbers. but is it normal to still be scared about everything still?

(Track this at the link above)

“Why Would Someone Chose Homeless” – Homeless 17 Year Old Girl

Meet “Alice”, Homeless Girl now 17 in Canada

Her words (she went homeless before 16) – She is older than her days:

“Why would someone choose to be transient or homeless? The world is a vast, ruined empire- It is void of any true meaning with all our responsibilities being entirely superficial, and we have created imaginary borders and priced things that belong to no one such as our land. The surrounding materialism weighs us down, makes us weary: It is a distraction that is malignant.

“Being homeless is an entirely separate dimension from this society, an alternate community- There is a completely different set of rules, way of life, and sense of normality. Once you have adjusted to homelessness, it can be very difficult to turn around and work your way back into the ‘Real World’; it becomes frustrating and lonely when you have to abide by a new social code and people are intolerant of your mannerisms.

“It’s like walking into a new country where you know nothing of the current customs, are baffled by people’s beliefs and gestures, and are confused by the tongue spoken. At a time, you just want to break free and separate yourself: You want to listen to your heart, and not found yourself on stability or comfort.

“There is nothing quite like the feeling you get when you walk away from your home with nothing but what’s in your pockets, and with no intention of returning.

“When homeless or transient, especially when you’re on drugs, life becomes a journey rather than an endless cycle. You lose your sense of time, not knowing the date and having only a vague idea of what stage of day it is; you spend your money on your present needs and desires rather than on future possibilities. When you’re high, it’s all about the small things in life; there’s no interest in the future and no care for the bigger picture. No one and nothing, yet everyone and everything, is cool. You’re content with no yearning desires. Life is all about warm, sunny afternoons on the cliff admiring the view and soaking in the calm, altogether uninhibited, and liberated on crack rocks- Free to speak your mind with no prejudices, free to be with no boundaries.

“However, I would support (the assertion) that children don’t become homeless merely because they dislike school or their family rules; rather, I think there is a much larger picture. Any kind of sufferance can be deepened when you love and care for the person hurting you; fear and confusion in childhood can make a claustrophobic teenager; and boredom can result in frustration and anxiety.

“Life on the streets is without any doubt a constant struggle and the average youngster would return home to comfort rather than hold out on the street if he didn’t have a strong and viable reason. His home and his life would have to represent a lot of pain and anger to keep him away for long; and he would have to have deep-rooted feelings of hatred and fear of the system to keep him there.

“Children who have been abused and neglected, then let down by their social workers and teachers, as well as nurses and police officers; children who have been drained through years of needless counselling then tossed from hospital to hospital like a nun; children who were kept isolated, then were physically and emotionally hurt when they attempted to connect.”

The above is a copy of a post by “Alice” which is not even her real screen name, but she is a real homeless person, trying to tell us a little about what it is like.   It may give you at least a little insight into the thinking of a young homeless girl. 

There are places to call, such as the National Runaway Switchboard or 2-1-1 anywhere in the country.   The link to the NRS is in the right column.  The idea is to get these youngsters help before they run away or get thrown away.   If your child is at risk or harboring a friend that would be on the streets without your help, get professionals involved… NOW.

Kids are out there too…

Do you hear a cry for help?

Click for all Homeless Youth Articles

Click for all Homeless Veteran Articles


Im a 16 year old run away

Im a 16 year old run away

Giff of Runaway SwitchboardThis is the text of a message to the National Runaway Switchboard. They have a switchboard at Call 1-800-RUNAWAY. It happened on Jan 12, 2007. Find this cry for help here:

Im a 16 year old run away.
Its been exactly a week since ive been home. I ran away because i had so much abuse going on. The physical abuse had stopped about a year ago but the mental abuse is what kills me inside. Here is the background story in nutshell…about 5 years ago my parents got a divorce. It turned out that the dad i knew my entire life wasnt my dad. My mom made me completely lose contact with them.

About a year later my now step dad was introduced to us. The moment i met him i didnt like him. We didnt get along and eventually we hated each other. He began to hit me and when i was 14 years old he left me my first mark. It was about five inches long and an inch and a half wide on the back of my left leg. He got me with the belt becuase he had thought i was rollerblading through the house.

From there he just never stopped with the hitting and pushing. I called CPS atleast 6 times but none of them were taken seriously. We just recently moved and he had stopped hitting me but moved on to hurting me mentally, which affects me so much more. Im constantly being blamed for everything that happens: its my fault that the family argues, its my fault that everything is wrong, its my fault that the family isnt perfect etc.. I also get told that im so disrespectful, i dont give back to the family, im useless, that life would be better without me, they cant wait until im 18 to move out, im soooo close to getting kicked out, and just basically saying im a no body and they are better off without me.

But the facts are: im a strait A student, im always overachieving at everything i do, and im probably the most giving person in my family. Im getting into trouble for little things and punished to the maximum. I get into trouble for leaving water spots in the sink, not having the vacuum marks on the floor, or fingerprints on the mirrors when im cleaning. The consequences are horrible. I get my posters ripped down, my ipod, cellphone, tv, stereo, and everything taken away. I think its just cruel and unusual punishments…right?

Well, the past couple of months i had started to doubt myself: “What if i am useless?”, “What is my purpose in this family, in this world?” I completely stopped doing my school work, i ditched classes, something i would NEVER do!!! Things got so bad that i started having this weird crying attacks every night. I got tired of cutting myself so i started to burn my hands. They are so messed up and im scarred for life. I ran away becuase i had gotten scared of my step dad. I was doing laundry but didnt have time to finish in time for work so some clean clothes were left unfolded on my bed.

My phone started to get blown up with texts saying that that day was my last day working, my step dad was coming to get me from work just to fold my clothes, and to be prepared when i had got home. I had gone home, but this time EVERYTHING was out of my room: TV, stereo, posters, and my good stuff and i was left with nothing but my bed, a pillow, a blanket, and my dresser. I didnt have anymore diaries, jewelery, little things that teenagers have…it was all thrown away!!!

I didnt know what was ganna happen the next day when my step dad would wake up. I was crying so bad. I took my little sisters phone and ran to the back yard and called my friend. I told her everything and she told me she would get me. I ran away in my pjs and slippers. Ive been jumping around to different houses. I miss my family and friends and i want to be back home.

Also, I want to file for emancipation but i LOVE LOVE LOVE my family, just not my step dad…he ruined my life!!! I gave everything because im so confused about what to do. Do i go home??? Do i contact my family??? Do i need to get emancipated??? What do i do??? Please help me!!!!

Kids are out there too…

Do you hear that cry for help?

Check out the Runaway Switchboard.  There is a link in the blogroll to the right and at the beginning of this post.  If you know of a troubled teen, get help immediately.

Click for all Homeless Youth Articles

Click for all Homeless Veteran Articles

Or go to the “Front Page” link above the banner for all posts

Thank you for caring,


National Stats for Runaway Youth

The National Runaway Switchboard provides education and solution-focused interventions, offers non-sectarian, non-judgmental support, respects confidentiality, collaborates with volunteers, and responds to at-risk youth and their families 24 hours a day.    Call 1-800-RUNAWAY
National Runaway Switchboard
(Statistics reflect only actual crisis calls – nationwide)
Adult calls ….. 1038
Youth calls …..15126
Total calls ….. 16164
Youth Status at Time of Call

    Contemplating running away…..12%
    Youth in crisis ………………..32%
    *Runaway ………………..48%
    *Throwaway ………………..4%
    *Homeless ………………..4%
    **Youth on the street ….. 56%

Reported Age Of Caller

    under 12 …..1%
    12 ………. 2%
    13 ………. 6%
    14 ………. 9%
    15 ………. 15%
    16 ……….21%
    17 ……….23%
    18 ……….10%
    19 ……….. 6%
    20 ……….. 4%
    21 ………. 3%
    Youth previously run (yes) …. . 32%
    youth previously run (no) ………. 44%
    unknown ………………………………..24%

Problems Identified by Callers

    Family Dynamics ..29%
    Peer/Social ……………… 14%
    School/Education ……..10%
    Mental Health …………. .. 9%
    Physical Abuse ……… … 6%
    Youth Services ……….. . . 5%
    Alcohol/Drug Use …… …5%
    Economics ……………….. 4%
    Emotional/Verbal Abuse 4%
    Judicial System ………….3%
    Transportation ……………….3%
    Health ………………………… 3%
    Sexual Abuse/Assault …..2%
    Neglect ……………………………2%
    GLBTQ …………………………..1%

Whereabouts of Youth Who is the Subject

    Home ………………….29%
    Unknown to Caller ….. 23%
    Friend ……………………..17%
    Relative ……………………..6%
    Street/Pay Phone ………6%
    Shelter ……………………..3%
    Other …………………………3%
    Unknown to Liner ……..3%
    Greyhound ………………..2%
    Recent Acquaintance …2%
    Police/Detention …………2%
    School ………………………..2%
    Work ……………………………1%
    Pimp/Dealer ………………..1%

(Example) Calls from Georgia, local area codes follow
Area ………….calls
404 GA ….. 1053 calls in 2006
678 GA ……..320
770 GA ……. 578

Click for All Homeless Youth Articles 

scared to say anything and about to give up

scared to say anything and about to give up

Oldtimer’s note:  This was copied without permission from the NRS.  I plan to ask, but I’m hoping the end justifies the means.   Meantime, visit their site.  There are a lot of links on this site in my previous post in case you find this article standing alone somewhere.

Find this NPR call for help on this bulletin board:  

I’m 12 years old and live with my step dad and my mom. My step dad hits me and does other things to me. I had told my mom and all she tells me is that its my fault for i should behave and he wouldn’t do that.I’m scared to sleep at night cause he comes in my room. thought about running away and I’m thinking about suicide actually I’m not thinking I’m planning it. I just can’t handle this anymore. I know or actually i feel its my fault so maybe i should get rid of the problem and that problem is me. I could really use some help from you people responding to me. thank you for listening to me

Reply from NRS

Thank you for contacting the National Runaway Switchboard. It sounds like a really difficult situation for you at home right now. There are several agencies out there willing and wanting to help youth in your position. 1)RAINN (RAPE ABUSE INSEST NATIONAL NETWORK) 1-800-656-4673 2) NATIONAL SUICIDE HOTLINE 1-800-273-TALK. Both of these hotlines are 24 hours a day, just like ours at 1-800-RUNAWAY. We are ALWAYS here to listen, not blame or judge just listen. If there is ever a time that you want to talk please feel free to call one of the hotlines. Best Wishes

Scared Answers:

thank you i had called and now i’m in a safe place. i thank you for those numbers. but is it normal to still be scared about everything still?

Oldtimer’s comment:  Click for All the Homeless Youth articles

National Runaway Switchboard

Organization Overview

Runaway Switchboard gifThe National Runaway Switchboard, established in 1971, serves as the federally-designated national communication system for homeless and runaway youth.  Recognized as the oldest hotline of its kind in the world, NRS, with the support of more than 150 volunteers, has handled more than three million calls in its 35-year history and handles an average of 100,000 calls annually.  NRS provides crisis intervention, referrals to local resources, and education and prevention services to youth, families and community members throughout the country 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  Over 10,000 youth have been reunited with their families through NRS’ Home Free program done in collaboration with Greyhound Lines, Inc.  The NRS crisis hotline is 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786 -2929) .

You can read transcripts of calls from runaways and potential runaways (names and exact locations hidden for privacy) and the responses from NPR and others on their bulletin board site.  You can also download promotional materials (posters and booklets) in English and Spanish and articles and newsletters, and other information.     

I will be publishing more on/from this site in the near future.  They provide an invaluable service.  If you look through the bulletin board and listen to the cries for help. you will understand more of what kids are going through and how what looks like small problems often become big and life changing issues. 

Oldtimer’s Comment:  Click for all Homeless Youth Articles