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An Open Door and a Helping Hand for Homeless Young People: A message from HHS.gov


If you know of any young people who need help, call the National Runaway Safeline at 1-800-RunAway, visit 1800runaway.org, or text 66008. Spread the word about these options on social media, and to organizations you know who might come into contact with homeless young people.

No young person in America should be without a safe space to sleep, and a roof overhead. That’s what we’re working to fix from the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, and that’s our commitment here at HHS.


We’re turning up our focus on the many homeless young people in our communities.

To end homelessness among young people, it’s important to listen to their experiences, and to learn from them. A new report released by HHS today tries to do just that.

Homeless young people live in constant transition. As one young person at a shelter in San Diego, California said, “When I was in 4th grade, I lived in a campground, three homeless shelters, my mom’s ex-boyfriend’s, and I went back with my dad, and then left again, and then went back with my dad, and then now I came here.”

In spite of the challenges they face, they’re chasing their own dreams and aspirations. One young person in a Chicago, Illinois shelter said, “In 5 years… I will definitely be in school—a 4-year college. I definitely aspire to be in college. I feel like that’s the biggest goal of all.”

One night in January of 2014, there were more than 45,200 young people across the country without a parent or guardian who were homeless. And the Department of Education reports that an estimated 89,000 unaccompanied students experienced homelessness at some point during the 2013 to 2014 school year.

These numbers are far too high. We can, and we must, do better.

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