Last week I read an article in the San Diego Union Tribune, that was written by a couple of folks from the YMCA of San Diego County. And they did a great job of talking about the "invisible crisis" of homeless youth.
1 in 10 young people (ages 18-25) in a year and 1 in 30 adolescents (age 13-17) experience homelessness without a caregiver.
That is a lot of kids that have fallen through the cracks and no, not all of them are runaways. In fact some have just managed to be forgotten in many ways, by a society that is too busy. And a lot of these kids are still in school, many have jobs, and even participate on sports teams, That means that here in San Diego County if you have a kid, they probably know a kid that is homeless.
And these kids need more than shelter - they need an opportunity to build skills besides resiliency and they deserve an opportunity to rest, recover and yes still be a kid. Many of these kids are already forced into working lives, with no hope out. They need and deserve stability, health care, hot meals, balanced nutrition and a transition. A transition to be housed, and to a life of success.
It's time that we as a country stop using phrases like "pull yourself up by your boot straps" and start leading with compassion, and empathy instead. But it takes more than thoughts and prayers, it takes work. The YMCA and YWCA are both well known across the United States, but they can only do so much with the limited space and funding they have, and the growing number of this invisible crisis.
Safe and happy travels!
We know the key to success starts way before school, and Pre-K to the end of Third Grade is the significant foundation for learning success.
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