For more than three decades StandUp for Kids, a national non-profit youth advocacy and outreach organization dedicated to ending the cycle of youth homelessness, has been on the streets in local communities like yours changing lives.    

According to Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, 4.2 million youth and young adults under 25 experience some form of homelessness every year in America. Many young people experience different types of homelessness, from couch-surfing to sleeping on the streets or in a shelter, half of these youth are doing so for the first time. 

These youth struggle every day to live another day.  Another day on the streets trying to survive, another day begging for food or money, another day of selling drugs or worse…themselves. 

Within the first 48 hours of being on the streets a youth is approached by someone soliciting drugs; one in three teens on the street is lured into prostitution. Oftentimes, young people are abused in their homes, and when there is nobody to help, they flee. Some youth feel as if the streets are their only alternative. Without the stability of home or family, young people are vulnerable to a range of negative experiences including exploitation and victimization, and they face devastating barriers in life, hindering their ability to reassimilate into their communities.

We can prevent a lot of tragedy if we intervene when kids are at risk of becoming, or have just become homeless, and give them the resources they need to get on a pathway from crisis to connection. Beyond providing youth with basic needs such as hot meals, clothing, housing options, and medical care, StandUp for Kids becomes a strong support system through mentoring, career counseling, financial planning, and goal-setting strategies for long-term progress.