Here are some of the major things I have learned:
1. Youth homelessness happens for all kinds of reasons which might include:
- Parent(s) or Guardian(s) do not have the resources to keep you safe/housed.
- Mom’s boyfriend doesn't like you.
- You're turning 18, so you have to go.
- You just came out as GLBT or Q.
- You're fleeing a DV situation.
- Whoever you're staying with doesn't approve of your partner, religion, extra curricular's, or any other number of things.
- You face barriers to employment, such as being unable to get an ID, not having enough work experience to get hired, not having available transportation to get to work, etc.
- The Fair Market rate for a 1 bedroom apartment in the Twin Cities is $756, not including utilities.
- If you ride a bus to/from a job that pays min wage 5x a week, it costs $90 a month to go to work.
- To have a dark/cold place to live and a way to get to work, you need to work 140 hours a month – or 35 hours a week. This does not account for the cost of food, utilities, putting away/investing, getting warm clothes in the winter, sunscreen in the summer, a cell phone, laundry, etc.
2. Most of the youth I work with who are experiencing homelessness are in school and working at least one job.
3. Racism and Bigotry are alive and well – especially in the northwest Hennepin/Anoka County Suburbs.
- It’s incredibly taxing/wearing/frustrating
4. Having a team of kick ass coworkers has made a world of difference - both personally and professionally.
5. In the past two years, my friends and family have donated:
- 3 beds, a microwave, and other household items
- More than $1,000 worth of hygiene supplies
- More than $3500 in cash
- More than 300 pounds of food
- At least 50 pounds of clothes
- Several hours leading presentations/workshops
6. Without your support, none of this would be possible.
7. THANK YOU for all that you have done, and continue to do.