Empowering Discussions

In a Tree or on a Bench? Where is Your Child Tonight?

Brace yourself. This is not a happy story.

I just read a sad story of a 17 year old named George who lived in a tree after he was sent away by his aunt. She had been acting like a mother to him and one day she apparently she put him on a bus from Missouri to San Francisco to a FAKE address. She says he was “out of control”  and wanted him gone.

This story was reported by Samantah Wender and Geoff Martz on http://abcnews.go.com/US/teens-trouble-homeless-youth-lived-tree/story?id=12779365#.T01nu4ePWqh

I just can’t imagine making a choice like this. To send a child far away across the country where you have no idea of their safety is beyond me. I can see putting a child in the foster system or asking another relative to care for them, but not just abandoning one. Homeless teens whether run aways or cast offs, generally have no trust of adults. This is a good example of WHY that happens.

Can you  imagine what it must be like to be as young as 13 and living on the streets? Sleeping in trees, under freeways, or in parks?  Homeless youth is not just something that happens once in a while. Check out the staggering statistics of youth on the streets at http://invisibleyouthnetwork1.community.officelive.com/RunawayandHomelessYouth.aspx Suicide, abuse, rape and assault are the everyday realities of homeless youth.

Last year I volunteered at a 5k walk for my local homeless youth shelter. It was a great experience. My favorite part was hearing the success stories of teens who had gone to the shelter and received help.  This shelter provides beds, clothes, breakfast and dinner, transportation to school, GED help and job search assistance.  Every youth that stays in the emergency shelter goes to school. They are even given a chance to return to the the school they left. Bus fare or rides are provided. What they do there is above and beyond. It is also the only youth shelter in the area.

There is no reason for you to not get involved in your community.  Take the initiative and show the world that for every aunt mentioned above there are many more compassionate caring people. If you want to help homeless youth visit, http://invisibleyouthnetwork1.community.officelive.com/VolunteerOpportunities.aspx.

If you want to find other opportunities  in your community check out www.VolunteerMatch.org.


2 thoughts on “In a Tree or on a Bench? Where is Your Child Tonight?”

  1. Great post. Getting involved with the youth in your community and with individuals in need of GED and job search assistance helps to decrease the crime rate in that community. There have been studies conducted that correlate education to crime. So, we should all be encouraging each other to become empowered through knowledge and improving all of our skills. 🙂


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