As November ends and the holiday season continues, we wanted to take this time to acknowledge the importance of National Runaway and Homeless Youth Prevention Month 2020 (#NRYM2020).
Each year we enjoy partnering with the National Runaway Safeline and do our part to “Shine a Light”, throughout the month of November, to help bring more awareness and provide more education on the reasons why youth runaway from home or how they end up homeless. Now more than ever it is critically important to support these efforts as the pandemic has strained the social safety net and has directly affected the homelessness crisis many communities are facing across the country.
The National Runaway Lifeline has reported that a total of 122 individuals and organizations (including Crittenton) from over 35 states along with 10 youth ambassadors, served as official NRPM partners educating the public, sharing resources, and reminding youth in need that we are all here to support them.
Youth homelessness facts:
Among the reasons that youth become homeless and drives a sense of urgency amongst our team to proactively curtail this from happening are the facts below:
- Within the first two to four years of leaving the system (child welfare or foster care), more than 25% of former foster youth become homeless.
- The 2020 Greater Los Angeles Youth Count Report showed nearly 5,000 youth were experiencing homelessness throughout Los Angeles County, nearly a 20% increase over the previous year.
Many of our youth are coming out of the Los Angeles County child welfare or foster care system. For many of our youth, once they turn 18 they do not have the same support system to fall back on like the rest of us do, or the job skills to help them with their next steps in life. They need our help and our community’s support.
2 ways you can help Crittenton prevent youth homelessness:
Among the ways to help us prevent youth homelessness or help vulnerable youth who are more at risk of experiencing homelessness is by supporting either one of the following Crittenton programs.
Become a foster parent: consider helping current foster youth by providing a safe, stable, and loving home. Now more than ever foster parents and foster families are needed to help foster youth get through these turbulent and uncertain times.
- Our team is happy to connect with you to answer questions about our foster care program services, certification process, qualifications to be a foster parent, and explain what financial assistance is available for certified foster parents or families.
- You can also refer interested foster parents or families directly to our foster family agency! We would love to connect with all those interested in helping foster youth.
- Email Crittenton’s Foster Care Program for a virtual appointment at firstname.lastname@example.org
Donate to Help Transitional Age Youth: any donation to Crittenton’s Stepping Stones Program will help former foster youth we serve age-out of the “system” in a safe and stable manner. Your donation can make a big difference for our youth by helping them cover a utility bill, rent, food, or daily living essentials. COVID-19 has disproportionately and negatively affected system-involved and transitional age youth by default. The pandemic has made them more vulnerable to homelessness during these uncertain times.
- You can donate directly to Stepping Stones by using our online form.
- Or take part in the Angel Tree 2020 gift card drive by purchasing much-needed gift cards to grocery stores or retailers for our youth to use. Shop for gift cards by using our Checked Twice Wishlist.
Final #NRPM2020 events to support:
There are several ways you can still participate in #NRPM2020 and increase awareness about youth homelessness among your network, including:
- The final “Lunch & Learn” taking place Thursday, December 3rdat 11:30 am CST, titled Runaway Prevention Strategies in a Virtual World: Using “Let’s Talk” Remotely. This webinar is great for anyone who works with youth directly. You can register via their website.
- The 2019 Data Report Launch is scheduled for Thursday, December 10th at 11:30 am CST. The release of the 2019 NRS Data Report on youth homelessness in America will feature a presentation and Q&A session with NRS and Chapin Hall, an independent policy center at the University of Chicago.
- The #NRPM2020 Youth Roundtable is slated for Tuesday, December 15that 2:00 pm CST, where a panel of young people with lived experience will speak on issues affecting runaway and homeless youth.
For additional information about the final events and how to register connect with National Runaway Safeline or their social media @1800runaway.
Crittenton Services for Children and Families of Southern California (CSCF) is a non-profit social services agency whose mission is to heal the wounds of abuse and neglect; strengthen families; and help troubled adolescents reach their full potential. Established and incorporated in 1966 Crittenton has a highly trained workforce operating 24 hours a day / 7 days a week providing comprehensive mental health services, shelter care, and other support services to the clients in our care. We provide a full array continuum of care programming that includes short-term residential, family preservation, wraparound family services, outpatient mental health, school-linked mental health, transitional age youth programming, and foster care services with a service planning area throughout Southern California that covers Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties.