We are in a crucial stage of growth.
From around age 10 to about 25, we discover, learn from, and adapt to the world around us. We build resilience and develop interests, passions, and meaningful goals that shape our adult lives. Our developing brains are well suited to these tasks, but too often, the systems that serve us are not. Adults supporting young people must transform dysfunctional and discriminatory systems to ensure we have every opportunity to become a force for good in our communities and society.
We are seeking community and acceptance.
Young people often report severe family conflict as the primary reason for their homelessness. Some may be rejected or abused by their families because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Nationally, 40 percent of young people experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQ+.
We have places to sleep overnight.
Nearly 75 percent of the young people who came to the county’s Coordinated Intake office reported staying with family or friends or were based at a shelter but looking for a better solution. Center staff will work with us to ensure we are heading to a safe place to sleep. The drop-in center will provide those stepping stones to achieving housing stability and meeting other goals during the transition to adulthood.
We know what it means to feel welcome.
We know when we are not welcome, and we love a space designed with us in mind. We’re dealing with real challenges every day and still want to access the same areas that many of our peers do. Feeling safe and comfortable inside and outside of a place is paramount.
We are students and graduates.
Many college students struggle to meet their basic needs, including food and housing. A national survey found that 9% of university students and 12% of community college students experienced homelessness. Many more students, including 36% of university students and 51% of community college students, were identified as housing insecure during the past year.
We are parents.
About a quarter of young people experiencing homelessness under age 24 are parents of small children. More than anything, we want our children to feel loved, supported, and stable, and we need immediate access to a place that will help us provide that.