- Opportunities to Help
According to the NCSL, 4.2 million youth and young adults experience homelessness in the United States. Of those 4.2 million children, 700,000 are unaccompanied minors, meaning they are not part of a family or aren’t accompanied by a guardian or parent.
When you do the math, that means one in 10 young adults ages 18-25 and one in 30 children ages 13-17 will experience homelessness every year. Youth homelessness is a huge problem in our country.
It can be complicated to help minors and young adults who are experiencing homelessness, but at Fellowship Missions we do our best to connect them with local resources and advocates who can help.
Risk Factors & Trauma Youth Often Face
Being without a home is traumatic to anyone experiencing homelessness, but for minors and young adults, it can be especially dangerous, impacting their development for years, and potentially a lifetime.
According to SAMHSA, children who experience homelessness have higher rates of developing behavioral, emotional, immediate, and long-term health problems than their peers. This puts them at risk of developing substance abuse problems, self-harm, and suicide.
Youth who don’t have a home also struggle more in school, both academically and socially, which can lead to a high rate of learning disabilities and many are unable to complete school and graduate.
Unhoused youth under the age of 25 are often unable to find a safe place to stay as they aren’t old enough to rent a room or apartment, and many landlords see them as a risk.
Why Youth Are Often Homeless
You might be wondering how unaccompanied minors end up without a safe place to live, and there are a variety of reasons. Some of the most common are:
- Family conflict
- Aging out of the foster care system
- Aging out of the juvenile justice system
- Domestic violence
- Parental neglect
- Death of a parent or guardian
In many cases, young people are kicked out of or flee their homes because it has become too dangerous for them to stay.
How You Can Help
As a member of our community, you can help support youth in our area by simply being present in your children’s lives if you’re a parent.
Do they have friends who have mentioned they’ve been experiencing neglect or are afraid to go home? Maybe they mention a classmate who suddenly stopped attending school.
These are all warning signs that a child could need help or extra support to stay safe and housed.
If you aren’t a parent but still encounter youth in your community through work or volunteering, look for similar warning signs that they may need help and make sure you are a safe, accepting person they can approach for help if needed.
At Fellowship Missions, our goal is to extend help to anyone who comes in our door. Our emergency shelter welcomes men, women, and children into a safe and caring environment where they can not only receive shelter but finally rest in a safe space.
You can also use our online resource tool to find support for youth and children in our area.
Can You Help?
If you have a love for others, a servant’s heart, and are committed to following Jesus, you could be the right fit to volunteer at Fellowship Missions.
Become A Volunteer
If volunteering isn’t the right fit for you, please consider donating to Fellowship Missions so we can continue to restore lives and renew hope in our Kosciusko County community.