Shedding a light on National Homeless Youth Awareness Month


Jonathan Kho Ming Jun

Homelessness is an issue that continues to worsen all over the world.

Aarushi Mandal, Editorial/Opinion Editor

November marks the beginning of the holiday season with many traditions and festivities, however, it also sheds light on an important issue. In 2007, November was officially declared National Homeless Youth Awareness month, focusing on highlighting homeless youth and their families. It places importance on educating the public on homelessness and providing opportunities for people to get involved with the problem.

Statistics show that over 300,000 males and 200,000 females experienced homelessness in 2020. Of those people, nearly 34,000 were unaccompanied youth.

Although homelessness is serious among everyone that experiences it, an emphasis has been placed on youth as these circumstances can be detrimental to their development. Despite this number following a downward trend, there has yet to be any major changes to rectify the issue. As a result, a plethora of organizations have taken things into their own hands to make a difference amongst these populations.

A prominent institution working to combat the problem is Covenant House. Established in 1972, its initial goal was to protect runaway and exploited youth. They have since provided international aid to children in third-world countries and currently own as well as operate homeless shelters in 31 cities within the United States. Covenant House has helped nearly 1,000,000 children since the organization first started its work.

Other entities such True Colors United, StandUp for Kids and Save the Children also aim to eradicate homelessness through advocating for children’s rights and providing a support system for struggling youth facing adverse circumstances. Advocacy is critical as increased government funding can greatly improve the state of homeless shelters and the general standard of living for these youth.

Even though there are many successful operations dedicated to the cause, they are still in need of the public’s assistance. The formerly listed institutions all provide opportunities for outsiders to help. Whether it’s through the form of monetary donations or in-person volunteering, the organizations believe that there are various opportunities for the greater community to get involved.

While homelessness amongst youth remains highly undiscussed, it is a circumstance many continue to face.

Through volunteer work, advocacy and awareness, National Homeless Youth Awareness puts a spotlight on the state of unfortunate youth across the United States.