Monday, May 12, 2014

10 Reasons Why DC Should Invest 10 Million in Homeless Youth

It is our time to tell DC Council that we will not turn our backs on the cities most must vulnerable youth. They are resilient and need our support now to grow-up and become successful adults. View the infographic explaining the "End Youth Homelessness Amendment Act" and sign and share the petition to support and fully fund the legislation. Here are 10 reasons why:

1.) Youth Need a Home to Do Their Homework

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There are over 4,000 homeless students in DC Public Schools right now and that number continues to grow.  Trying to concentrate and learn is nearly impossible when you are going through the trauma of homelessness.

2.)  Homeless Youth Often Become Homeless Adults 

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Youth will become adults. Without help, youth cannot simply escape homelessness when they turn a certain age.

3.) A Good Night’s Sleep Prevents Sickness 

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From headaches to life-threatening diseases, homeless youth get sick a lot more because of unhealthy environments, stress, and vulnerability.  Not only is it a painful way to live, but the medical and public health costs are a high tax burden. View infographic to learn more.

4.) A Prison Meal Should Not Be the Alternative to No Meal at All

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Youth turn to illicit markets when other markets are closed to them.  This puts them at-risk and in prison.  Months and years behind bars are a huge personal cost for the youth, and a big financial cost to the community. Watch video to learn more.


5.) You Need a Roof to Raise a Family

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Homeless youth are caregivers. They take care of grandparents, siblings, cousins, and their own children. Watch video to learn more.

6.) Jobs are Hard to Keep Without a Home

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To apply for jobs, youth need a place of residence and contact information for their resume's. To keep a job youth need stable housing without the stress of reapplying for housing vouchers, figuring out childcare options, wondering where they will get their next meal etc. 

7.) Being Homeless is Expensive

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Homeless youth have their things stolen, have to leave things behind when they are on the move, and can’t make basic, every-day investments that save money. Youth homelessness is also expensive for taxpayers. View infographic to learn more.

8.) Every Youth Deserves a Safe Place to Stay 

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Sleeping on the street or at playgrounds is terrifying.  Sleeping at a friend’s house with strangers is terrifying.   Sleeping at an adult shelter can be terrifying.  Youth shouldn’t have to spend every day in fear.

9.) It Was COLD this Winter - It May Not Be So Cold Next Year

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With the freezing cold weather and snow – people cared about those suffering outside. With warmer weather brings less news coverage, less blog posts and less overall empathy about this vulnerable population. We need to secure funding NOW so that homeless youth don't become a blip on our radar, but an issue our community is willing to tackle.

10.) Youth Have A Will, Now Let’s Provide Them a Way 

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Homeless youth go to school. They hold jobs. They take classes to be better parents. Homeless youth are like all youth- they have dreams and drive. They have been struggling to make it, now it’s up to us to give them a chance.


The above quotes come from testimonies given at the Department of Human Services hearing on the End Youth Homelessness Amendment Act. DCAYA recommends saving the quotes and publishing them onto social media sites to spread the word on signing the petition to support and fully fund the #HomelessYouthActDC.


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