Teen Homelessness Among Teens

1137 Words5 Pages
“One in seven young people between the ages of 10 and 18 will run away” (NCSL.org). Teens are known for having a feeling of being misunderstood. They struggle to find their place in this world, and feel lost without guidance. A way out of feeling alone is to run away from their problems. “Before age 18: (1) lived in a foster home, (2) lived in an institution, (3) ran away from his or her residence for a week or more, or (4) lived on the streets” (Wasson). The extent of teen homelessness has been impacted through law enforcement, family life, education and learning to survive those impacts.

The percentage of homeless teens continues to increase every year, and the government is not helping those numbers go down. One of the reasons teens
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Finding somewhere to stay is difficult, especially if it is not in a shelter and with the added fear of getting in trouble. And real life situation would be a 15-year old girl about living in the New York subways, “The cops would arrest me anyhow. Because I 'm homeless. Because I 'm under age. Because they can charge with trespassing for being down here” (Bolnick 1). The emotion of shame is still felt by teens like, “Contacts with law-enforcement combined with the turbulent family histories can foster feelings of shame and humiliation among the homeless youth” (Hagan 2). Homeless teens also feel even more alone because they feel afraid and worried about getting in trouble for “trespassing.” Without any guidelines of how teens should get help, they continue to live on the streets. Although many are still homeless, laws and acts have been put into place to help more of the homeless teen population. Some examples are “The Runaway and Homeless Act (RHYA).... enacted in 1974 is the only federal law that focuses on unaccompanied, homeless youth” (NCSL.org) and “Hawaii propose the creation of a task force to coordinate and develop…show more content…
Responsibilities at home, like chores and watching after younger siblings is normal for any teen. It is when teens have to take over the responsibility of cleaning up their parents’ liquor bottles and drug mess, becomes too much for them. Parents should be the ones to care for their children, and children should only have to worry about being young and their future. Not have their future decided for them when they are ten. Sometimes the only thoughts going on in their mind are how they are going to help their younger siblings, and prevent them from going down the same road as them. Author Jamie Pastor Bolnick recollects thinking, “the baby was sick, or Robert was drunk or how my mom was going to pay the rent this month… I used to be an honor student, but my grades were shot to hell because all I’ve been missing” (Bolnick 27). The most influential people in a child’s life is usually their family. Derek Steele followed in the same footsteps as his parents. An excerpt from his book describing his daily life reads, “I’m sure my mom wouldn’t want anyone to know we got high together and my dad was the epitome of self-absorbed” (Steele 35). His relationship with his sister wasn’t very much different where, “he liked hanging out with his sister...a very dysfunctional relationship… brought ecstasy over to her and David, and we all got high together” (Steele 44). These teen’s
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