Community Candlelight Event to Shed Light on the Issues
Sanctuary of Hope (SOH), a local nonprofit youth development and human service organization for Transitional Age Youth, will culminate Runaway Prevention and Homeless Youth Awareness Month on Tuesday, November 29th at 6pm with a Candlelight Interfaith Prayer and Youth Voice Reflections on the outside steps of Sanctuary of Hope at 4003 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90018.
The facts around youth homelessness are staggering. An estimated 4.2 million youth and young adults experience homelessness, of which 700,000 are unaccompanied minors, meaning they are not part of a family or accompanied by a parent or guardian. On any given night, approximately 41,000 unaccompanied youth ages 13-25 experience homelessness. Runaway and homeless youth are vulnerable to multiple threats, including not having their basic food and shelter needs met, untreated mental health disorders, substance use, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV infection, sexual exploitation, physical victimization and suicide. A housing crisis puts young people at huge risk of more violence and trauma, and right now young people, and their children, need support more than ever.
“Prevention is the pathway to preventing youth homelessness, or what we call ‘functional zero’, and it is our belief that youth homelessness should be rare, non-reoccurring and brief,” stated Janet Kelly, Executive Director of SOH. “We are inviting all of our stakeholders to be in community with us to ensure that our young people receive all of the necessary resources and supports to prevent them for entering into a homeless crisis.”
Tuesday night’s event will feature reflections from youth who have experienced homelessness, and their resiliency to persevere, along with local interfaith leaders and others who will offer prayers around the issues facing homeless and runaway youth. Among the faith leaders confirmed to participate are: Pastor Cue-Jn Marie, Skidrow Church Without Walls; Pastor Walter Contreras, CLUE-LA Black & Brown Alliance; Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels, Rabbi Emeritus, Beth Shir Shalom; Sister Atra Flemons, ISLA Muslim Community, and the Zen Center L.A., along with several others.
Information and resources will be available. The community is invited to attend. Coffee and refreshments will be served.
Visit www.thesoh.org for more info.