A Way Home
One third of Canada’s homeless population is between the ages of 16 and 24, 65% of homeless
youth fail to complete high school, 30% of homeless youth are involved in the sex-trade and 52.8% of youth reported being threatened with an attack1. For my peace and justice class at Columbia Bible College we were asked to research a specific peace and justice issue and present, write or create our findings. Through my involvement in Youth Unlimited, it has become very evident that youth homelessness is an enormous issue. Youth homelessness is a global issue, but also one that is personal to me. The youth I have relationships with have shared real, extensive stories of their homeless journeys. Experts say that the majority of youth homelessness occurs because they have experienced some sort of sexual, physical or emotional abuse or neglect. It is very rare that youth leave happy homes to be on the streets. Homelessness leads to many destructive lifestyles such as drugs, pregnancy, mental health issues, sickness and even death. Therefore, my question is how can we develop effective strategies to end youth homelessness?
One thing I have seen evident is the impact a reliable and loving adult can have in a youth’s life
and how it can have a substantial influence in their stability. Of the research I have seen, partnerships and accountability have a huge impact in keeping these teens off the streets. I am currently working on an art piece for this project that will take a look at how many relationships grounded in healthy values and principles are needed for a sustainable life for these youth. If we can see how many relationships are needed, we can learn how to effectively support youth transition to a healthy and meaningful adulthood. It excites me of the opportunities I get to be a part of with this team and I look forward to helping build these connections. Would you join me in helping make a difference and helping teens find a way home?
- Savannah Deepwell
1 “STRATEGIC PLAN.” Covenant House. N.p., 2015. Web. Feb. 2016.