Nadine Gagne 0

Youth Homelessness

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As a society, and developed country, human rights for homeless youth is an issue that Canada cannot afford to ignore any longer. Due to the weathers harsh elements, unavailable medical care, abusive homes and lack of funds, homeless youth are dying from preventable deaths every day. Although many homeless causes are known, many homeless youth and children have reasons that revolve around their family. Youth are among the most disadvantaged of all homeless people, because of facing barriers such as income support, finishing high school, paid employment and rental accommodation due to their age. It is time for the government and families to be held accountable for their actions. Majority of youth come from diverse backgrounds and situations. Many youth suffer from neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, family substance abuse, and family violence while growing up. Youths who suffer from these causes, are victims who have suffered dreadfully. It’s a known fact that “more than 60 per cent of youth who became homeless before their 15th birthday stayed on the street for more than seven years” (Article: Homeless youth abandon Yonge St., Toronto star, Published: Tue Dec 15 2009). Studies have shown that homeless youth generally leave home around the age of fifthteen. Common associations such as homeless youth shelters are short term solutions that offer little more than a bed and a possible hot meal. Many shelters only let clients stay for a night or two and then youth are forced back out on the streets. Very few shelters let clients stay while being unable to provide basic education needs and services to help youth get back on their feet. Many youth shelters do not provide any employment programs to provide life skills for independent living. A majority of homeless youth avoid the use of staying in shelters, due to safety issues, lack of motivated and caring staff, the amount of accountability, and feeling an intrusion of their rights. Every individual as a homeless youth has immense value and potential to be important and contributing members of our society, if given the support and opportunity needed. A non-judgmental approach is mandatory to help youth. One of the most important things individuals can do to help the youth that are homeless is to realize with an open mind that majority of old stereotypes concerning them just are not true. Why not make a commitment to helping end youth homelessness; it simply takes one person to take one step at a time for many achievable accomplishments. "Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty". - Mother Teresa


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