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A door slams. And one more kid stomps off into the danger zone.
The vast majority of runaways return home within a day or two. For the ones who don’t the perils are real: drug mule, drug addict, prostitute, sex slave, convict. These are career paths that no parent (stepparent or guardian) dares ponder for their child.
Graphic by Kate Thompson. Source: King County Homeless Youth and Young Adult Initiative, 2013
As you can see from the graphic above, King County's homeless youth and young adults tend to fall into one of three groups: foster care alums (20-plus percent), LBGTQ kids (20-40 percent) and African-Americans (35 percent). In Crosscut’s ongoing series on youth homelessness, you’ll meet and hear from kids in all three of these high-risk populations.
We’ll also explore what happens in that critical 45-minute window. We'll introduce you to street outreach workers, the anti-Fagins who find and direct runaways to safe shelter, and to the public school liaisons who keep homeless students in school and on track. You'll learn about King County's efforts to address the problem, and about innovative, inter-agency programs such as Safe Place, which has turned every Metro bus and county library into a no-questions-asked haven for kids in crisis. Most important, you’ll find out what you can do to help. (We'll also report results of the 2014 Count Us In census when they become available next month.)
So please join us as we continue our exploration of Kids@Risk. The first installment in our youth homelessness series is Rebekah Demirel's first-person account of growing up on the streets of Vancouver, B.C. Look for it tomorrow (Friday) right here at Crosscut.
And we'll share the results of this year's Count Us In census when they become available in early February.
Our homeless youth series is made possible by the generous support of the Raikes Foundation — and Crosscut members.
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