Homeless youth often fall through the cracks

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, fighting with addiction, or many other reasons.  One of the most disheartening reasons is what often makes most children and teenagers homeless.

“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.”

This quote, taken from an article in the Washington Post, shows just one case; however, for many homeless youth, the reason they are forced to their street is not their choice, but one made by the people they trusted.  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!

These reports are only able to capture the number of youth who are ENROLLED in school.  Assistance for students is hard to find because like the story from the Washington Post, many students enrolled in school are couch surfing with friends and 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 Indianapolis’ homeless youth, namely HealthNet’s Homeless Initiative Program, Outreach, Inc., and Schools on Wheels.  Do you know of any more resources for homeless youth?

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