According to a study by the U.S. Department of Justice published in 2002, there are an estimated 1,682,900 homeless youth in America.
Most of these youth are between the ages of 15 and 17, and, as such, have no legal means to provide for themselves. Theft and prostitution are often their only means of survival. Homeless youth are anywhere from 2 to 10 times more likely to contract HIV.
There are, however, organizations working to help give these kids a safe place for food and shelter, helping them to obtain their birth certificates and IDs so that they can work and earn money, and providing counseling, job training, and medical treatment.
November is Homeless Youth Awareness Month, so I wanted to draw your attention to a couple of these organizations that could use your help.
The first is Covenant House, providing shelter and assistance to homeless youth in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
Covenant House is in a number of places, but it isn't everywhere, so I encourage you to look into the homeless youth shelters in your area to see what they are doing and how you can help. Here in Denver, for example, we have Urban Peak (also in Colorado Springs.)
To finish today, I thought I'd leave you with some words from a couple of people you may know:
(The promotion she's talking about is from last year, but the message still stands.)