Sleep Out for Teen Homelessness
They’re kids you know. “Hidden” in plain sight. 1,400 teens in Westchester every day. You can help.
The Truth About Teen Homelessness
- More than 2 million youth run away each year.
- 47% of runaways cite conflict with parents/guardians as the major problem.
- 1 in 5 misuse prescription drugs.
- 1 in 6 are LGBTQ.
- 62% of LGBTQ runaways and 29% of those who are heterosexual attempt suicide.
- Teens come to the Sanctuary, CV’s runaway and homeless shelter, from every town in Westchester. Some kids are as young as 12 years old.
- The Sanctuary’s crisis hotline receives over 400 calls each year.
- Homelessness today is “hidden in plain sight,” but if you look closely, you may notice the signs: Homeless teens often wear the same few articles of clothing; they appear tired and/or fall asleep unexpectedly; are vague about their address; say they’re “not hungry” when friends buy food, yet eat ravenously when offered food.
You can help.
Donate to our teen homeless shelter.
The Children’s Village will be hosting a Sleep Out for Teen Homelessness on Saturday, October 14, in Dobbs Ferry to raise awareness of the fact that there are approximately 1,400 homeless teens in Westchester County each night. A team of volunteers, staff, and formerly homeless teens will help share this and other staggering statistics during the Ferry Festa (1-8pm), an annual street festival that draws upwards of 15,000 people each year. A planned 25 to 30 individuals will spend the night outdoors on the grounds of Zion Episcopal Church in solidarity with teens who find themselves homeless.
A key feature of the event will take place at 9pm, when members of the community will gather on the church grounds with formerly homeless youth to learn more about the causes of teen homelessness, the perils faced by homeless teens, and what can be done to alleviate the situation. The program is open to the public.
The idea for the event came from staff of The Children’s Village’s Sanctuary, Westchester County’s only teen homeless shelter, and Life’s Bridges, supported housing for older homeless teens. These staff members work with homeless teens every day and understand the need to raise awareness of this hidden problem. CV partnered with multiple social service agencies that are concerned about or work with teens who are homeless, including Zion Episcopal Church, Project Share, Westhab, Midnight Run, the Center for Safety and Change, and St. Dominic’s Home, and received significant support from CV’s own Community Advisory Committee.