There are sadly lots of stereotypes around youth homelessness. So fist like always I’ll give you the definition of homelessness from dictionary.com.
Homelessness: “persons who lack permanent housing.”
All homeless youth are heavy drug users;
As a youth worker I work with a lot of homeless youth. I say about 80% of the youth I’ve encountered haven’t even touched any drugs or smoke weed in their spare time. A lot of the youth I’ve worked with are really good kids just in a bad situation. Just like the homeless adult not all of them are on drugs.
There can’t be a homeless crisis because I don’t see that many youth living on the streets or in parks;
That’s because not many youth do, they either try for a shelter, a friend’s house or somewhere isolated and can’t be found. It’s safer for them that way. Because some youth are only 14 when they go to the streets it’s not safe for them to be out in the open sleeping, they would be an open target that way. Also just because you can’t see a crisis happening around you doesn’t mean it’s not going on. There is a lot more homeless then we think out there and not enough resources to help.
MOST ARE RUNAWAYS;
Very few of the homeless youth population are runaways otherwise a missing person report would be filled and the youth would be brought home. Most youth are either custody of the ministry or have been kicked out of their homes. Most runaways only stay out for a couple of days and then return home 2-5 days later and never really become homeless. Because there is still a home for them to go back to, which sadly some youth don’t have and find safety in a shelter or with a friend.
Homeless youth are scruffy, smelly, criminals who couldn’t care less about their communities;
Most youth who are homeless aren’t, most still attend school and some even have part time jobs to help pay for their necessities. But yes some youth who can’t find shelter will tend to be a bit scruffy or smelly. But just like other youth they still do care about there hygiene, because hey who wants to go up to their friends smelling like a pig. Most youth will respect the community as long as the community stops putting negative stigmas on the youth. As a youth myself I’d walk into a store and I’d have the cashier either tell me to leave and to come back with an adult or follow me around the store until I left. I myself worked 6 days a week I had the money to buy what I wanted but because I was a youth I was automatically a thief and could not be trusted. I remember once when I was 13 my mom asked me to pick up the groceries while she went across the street to get gas. The cashier made me empty my purse and pockets before she would ring in anything, I was shocked, my mom gave me a $100 for 4 things if I wanted something I would of just bought it, the bill only came to $35. Let’s just say my dad started screaming when he found out and they tried to tell him it was protocol.
I hope you guys liked my blog. Leave a comment down below if you have any questions or comments. I love hearing from you guys.
“Nothing is impossible; the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”
-By Audrey Hepburn