Covenant House opens doors for homeless youth

November 30, 2015
Esther Kang  Troy High  10th grade

By Esther Kang
Troy High
10th grade

The covenant house is an organization that strives to rescue and take care of the many homeless teens in America.

There are many teenagers and children that are homeless because of family issues and many other factors. Some of the many family issues include family abuse and drug addiction of family members. According to a study of youth in shelters, nearly 50% reported intense conflict or physical harm by a family member as a major contributing factor to their homelessness.

Once homeless, these teens face many dangerous obstacles, such as prostitution, hunger, and human trafficking. According to studies, in the United States as many as 20,000 kids are forced into prostitution by human trafficking networks every year. Furthermore, 57% of homeless kids spend at least one day every month without food.

Because they lack the proper education to get a job that pays higher than minimum wage, the homeless teens have no choice but to work for the limited number and types of jobs for the uneducated and young. As a result, they lack the money and resources to buy their meals.

Another prevailing obstacle or challenge for these teens is the lack of foster care. Once they turn 18, these teens do not receive care by foster homes and families, and as a result, receive no care.

Taquan, one of the many homeless teenagers staying in Covenant House, was taken care of in foster homes until he turned 18. He bounced around and went from one foster home to another until he turned 18, which was when he officially became homeless. As a result, the Covenant House took him in and cared for him. There are many other teens that have a story similar to Taquan, in that they lack sufficient care as a result of the independence they are given as they turn 18.

However, even though they are 18 years old, they are still unprepared to live independently, as they either do not have sufficient education, or they were cared for in foster homes most of their life. More than 25% of former foster children become homeless within two to four years of leaving the system.

Furthermore, going on with the inability to live independently, the homeless teens receive limited education and social support due to the lack of a family. In fact, 50% of adolescents aging out of foster care and juvenile justice systems will be homeless within six months because they are unprepared to live independently and have limited education and no social support.

Even the Juvenile Justice System, which was created to limit the rates of crime of homeless teens, has failed its goal as a result of lack of social support and unsupportive role models near them.

The Covenant House was created to help homeless teens that have encountered these problems.


One Comment

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