6 Things You Can Do to Help End Youth Homelessness
– June 14, 2018 –
Do you sometimes wonder what YOU can do to help end homelessness for a youth?
Homelessness is a complex issue. We know there’s not a “quick fix”. But there ARE simple things that each of us can do with our time, influence, and money to give hope and a supportive hand to homeless youth. Many people doing seemingly small things can bring about big change! These 6 ideas truly make a difference for youth on the streets.
1. TEACH A SKILLS CLASS. The Oasis Centers invite professionals to teach basic life skills classes to youth who come for center hours. Are you a financial professional who could teach a budgeting class? Or in a medical field and could teach nutrition or hygiene classes? Or what about tutoring in a certain subject? There’s a good chance that you have knowledge you could share that would help a youth become more knowledgeable and independent. Connect with your local Oasis Center to see!
2. HOST A RESOURCE DRIVE. Items like tents or clothing meet the immediate needs of homeless youth. Items such as work shoes or bus passes help youth pursue opportunities, like employment and counseling, that lead to stability. Host a resource drive at your church, business, club, or home and care for youth’s needs! Look here to see what resources you could collect.
3. VOLUNTEER. It is proven that the consistent presence of one caring, safe adult makes a BIG difference in a young person’s life! Volunteer as a mentor or in an Oasis Center! Sharing your time will change your life AND theirs.
4. SAY HELLO. Homeless youth often feel invisible, judged, alone, and rejected. They don’t think anyone cares about them. It can be uncomfortable to say hello to a stranger. But the next time you see a young person on the street corner, say hi. Acknowledge them. Ask a question. Your attention makes a difference. And who knows where your conversation will take you.
5. GAIN UNDERSTANDING. The causes of homelessness are varied and complex. We can’t discover solutions without understanding causes. Find ways to learn about the issue of youth homelessness in your community! One way to start is to read stories of youth who have experienced homelessness on the Coffee Oasis blog.
6. SHARE THE CRISIS TEXT LINE. Many youth have no safe, caring adult to turn to in the midst of a crisis. Youth can text “coffeeoasis” to 360-377-5560 and be connected to someone who will listen, support, and guide. By sharing this number, you give youth a resource to use if they need help exiting homelessness, battling depression, or just knowing that someone cares.