November is National Homeless Youth Awareness Month. Many of us who live in Pierce County may be unaware that there are over 900 homeless and at risk youth under the age of 21 who live on the streets and in our community. Most of these children are run always from home or are at risk of doing so due to abuse at home.
We are StandUp For Kids Tacoma, the local chapter for a national organization that had been in existence for 20 years. The mission of StandUp For Kids is to help homeless kids.
Staffed by volunteers, we conduct weekly outreaches at locations in and around Tacoma. We provide clothing and food and most importantly tell them that we care about them and then at every point prove it.
The most heartbreaking aspect of youth homelessness is these are children who still have the same dreams as ordinary children, but have lost their developmental nurturing years mainly due to the absence of someone who cares.
It is a national shame that as the richest most powerful country in the world we unknowingly allow an estimated 13 kids to die on the street everyday from suicide, disease and violence.
If you come across a homeless youth or someone who may be at risk of becoming homeless please have them call 888-365-4543. If you like to volunteer or support us in any way please go to our website at http://standupforkids.org/ and choose Tacoma Program.
Selinose Korah is the co-executive director, StandUp For Kids-Tacoma.