Helping Homeless Youth
A. What is the problem?
a. There are homeless youth without supervision on the streets of America b. They are abusing substances and that may be the cause of them being homeless c. Their family does not accept their lifestyle (LGBTQ)
B. What is being done to fix the problem?
a. Shelters are being built specifically for them
b. People are getting the word out
c. Giving kids hope
d. Foundations are being created
C. What is not done?
a. More shelters need to be built
b. Awareness not raised enough
c. Safety regulations need to be changed
d. Acknowledgement of their accomplishment
D. How can we/you help?
b. Be there for someone
c. Give all that you can
d. Help raise awareness
"Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?” (Isaiah 58:7)
What is the problem?
It is so easy to just live your daily life without noticing the people you pass by on your way home from work. It is easy to just turn the music up and keep your eyes forward but, how, at the same time, is it so hard? You cannot bear to look into the eyes of that child by the side of the street, but you cannot stop staring into their soul. Many kids on the street can feel helpless, but they are not hopeless. A lack of guidance and ignorance cause these youth to be without shelter. While there are efforts to help the youth, there is still more that can be done and those who are concerned can help, too.
There are many reasons that a child could be on the streets of America tonight. They could be on substances, their parents could have lost their job and then their house, their parents might not accept their lifestyle, or a myriad of other reasons. In any case, they should be helped. We must be able to show Christ’s love to everyone, and most of all, the homeless. “Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:20) Christ, himself, was homeless and he says to you who help the least of these because that is helping him. These homeless youth in the United States is estimated to be 1.6 million, and that is one in every forty children (Antara). One in forty-five of America’s future adults and leaders are on the streets hiding or begging for food. It is just breath taking to think that that many children are on our streets while we are bundled up in our warm, cozy beds. The population of America has surged passed 300 million people, so that is .53% of America. That may not seem like much, but that is still 1.6 million people. Would it be easier to not look passed that if they were part of your family or someone you knew?
Most of the kids are not looking for a handout either. They just want help to get by, food to live, and a warm enough place to sleep. Many of these youth are homeless because of their parents. They do not accept the life-style that the youth wishes to lead. Even on the streets, their life-style might not be accept, which leads to homophobic violence. Almost half of Chicago’s homeless youth identify as LGBTQ, Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, or Queer (Franco). I find it quite deplorable that parents will throw their child out on the street because they do not agree with them. How is that showing Christ’s love? Christ loved everyone, no matter the fault. So, why do we, as Christians, put labels on people and not help them because their sin is different than ours? Granted, not every parent that kicks out his or her child is Christian, but about 80% of America is Christian (Yonke). So, it is safe to assume that most of the parents tossing out their youth are Christian.
In this recession, youth homelessness has increased incredibly. There are 28% more homeless youth now than there was in...
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"Homeless Youth Group Launches 'Homeless not Hopeless ' Campaign." Professional Services Close-Up 6 Apr. 2011. Gale Power Search. Web. 15 Feb. 2012.
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Mass, Warren. "Helping the homeless to help themselves." The New American 12 May 2008: 33. General OneFile. Web. 30 Mar. 2012.
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