It’s estimated that each month dozens of youth end up living on the streets. It’s natural to ask why.
The reasons are complex. Suspected social factors straining families include drastic economic shifts, increased costs of living, inadequate living wages, a higher incidence of mental-health issues, increased substance abuse, and deep cuts to support programs.
The majority of homeless youth have suffered from physical, emotional or sexual abuse before leaving home. Some youth end up homeless because they are literally abandoned by their parents.
The stark reality for them is that the streets are safer than their former living environments.
Some sobering facts:
- Portland, Oregon has one of the highest homeless youth populations per capita in the USA.
- There are thousands of homeless youth in Portland, Oregon and Southwest Washington. Their numbers grow annually.
- Shelters are full, with addiction and prevention programs also at over-capacity levels.
- Homeless youth have a continuous need for survival basics such as food, clothing, and shelter.
- These young people need assistance with education, job training, and job placement so they can move forward in life.
What an opportunity for us to step up and make a difference together!