KANSAS CITY, Mo. —
A local group is raising awareness about teenagers and young adults experiencing homelessness in the Kansas City metro area.
The group’s advisory board is young, made up of teenagers and young adults who have experienced homelessness. It’s that experience that equips them to help others.
“The percentage of youth that are actually homeless is astounding especially people who think because you are sleeping on a couch doesn’t mean you aren’t homeless. You can sleep on a couch and be homeless, you can hop houses and still be homeless, that’s not a stable house,” said Jasmin Anderson, 20.
During the 2018-19 school year, the Kansas City, Missouri public school district reported 1,261 students experienced homelessness; 266 (21.1%) of those students were unaccompanied, according to the most recent data available from the Department of Education.
Anderson said she slipped into homelessness because of issues at home.
“For me, it was a very stigmatized experience.”
She found help at ReStart which connected her with a case manager.
“They just did everything that they could to support me and get me into college and on the road to finding my path to purpose in life.”
Now a member of Youth 4 Change, she is advocating for more programs to help young people in need of support. Anderson says many are without documents such as birth certificates and driver’s licenses and need help navigating services.
“I just think if there is more money that can be put into programs and schooling and actually getting us into classes that teach us skills. It’s more than that, it’s teaching us how to file a loan, how to go to college, do things that we’ve never known. That’s the only way to break that cycle of homelessness.”
Saturday the group hosted a scavenger hunt downtown to raise awareness about the issue and funds for their initiative.
“Just the fact that they came here today to be a part of something is just, it makes my heart so happy to see because it’s a little bit of hope in the darkness.”
The event collected more than $800. To donate visit Youth 4 Change’s fundraising site.
Transitional housing for youth in the Kansas City Metro:
ReStart – reStart offers a Transitional Living Program (TLP) for youth ages 16 to 21 who have no safe home to return to. This longer-term program provides up to 18 months of transitional housing, life skills, financial education, case management, and counseling to prepare youth to live independently upon graduating from the program.
Hillcrest – Hillcrest offers a rapid re-housing program through its offices in Clay and Clinton counties in Missouri. This program provides case management, housing location assistance, and financial assistance to help literally homeless youth, singles, couples, and families with children obtain rental housing of their choosing within Kansas City’s Northland. A rapid re-housing program for those age 24 and younger also exists for teens, young adults, and parenting youth with children.
Pride Haven – Pride Haven is SAVE, Inc.’s overnight shelter for transition-aged youth, aged 18-24, facing homelessness. They offer a safe and accepting space with a welcoming and affirming environment for all youth.Avenue of Life Youth House – Avenue Youth House is dedicated to unaccompanied homeless youth in Kansas City, Kansas. The house has 18 bedrooms and offers transformational, wrap-around support for youth. They will provide a long-term home for youth through high school graduation and on to career and higher education.
Original Article: https://www.kmbc.com/article/kansas-city-non-profit-raising-awareness-about-youth-homelessness-youth-4-change/36639242