Each year, an estimated 4.2 million youth and young adults experience homelessness in the United States, of which 700,000 are unaccompanied minors (ncsl.org). The most common causes of youth homelessness include a lack of affordable housing, economic hardship, substance abuse of a family member, parental neglect, objection to sexual orientation or gender identity and mental health disorders.
Unaccompanied homeless youth are at a higher risk of anxiety disorders, depression, post-traumatic stress, and suicide due to increased exposure to violence while living on their own. Learn more about the causes and consequences of youth homelessness online at ncsl.org (National Conference of State Legislators).
Here are some ways you can support homeless youth in your community:
- Advocate for the National Campaign for Youth Shelter, which seeks to provide all young people ages 24 and under with immediate access to safe shelter.
- Donate needed clothing, such as jeans or warm clothes.
- Help provide meals in your community. Find your local food pantry or meal provider.
- Support your local homeless shelter by donating time or money.
- Share critical resources such as relevant hotline numbers, state-specific handbooks for legal rights and options, and an overview of available federal programs.
- Donate to the Windermere Foundation, whose mission is to help homeless and low-income families in our communities.
Organizations who have been supported by the Windermere Foundation:
The Windermere Foundation supports, among others, the following organizations dedicated to helping homeless youth and families in their communities. To support these organizations, donate to the Windermere Foundation through your local Windermere office.
- New Avenues for Youth in Oregon provides services including education, job training, counseling, and supportive housing.
- Partners Mentoring Youth in Colorado empowers youth and community members to reach their full potential through mentoring, prevention, education, and strategic partnership.
- The Mockingbird Society in Washington is dedicated to transitioning youth into safe, supportive, and stable homes by transforming foster care.
- The Boys and Girls Clubs of America enables young people to reach their full potential by providing a safe space, caring adult mentors, and high-impact youth development programs.
- The YMCA is committed to helping communities learn, grow, and thrive while empowering youth.
To find out more about the Windermere Foundation or to make a donation, please visit, windermerefoundation.com.