FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 1, 2023
Sanctuary of Hope (SOH), a local nonprofit youth development and human service organization for Transitional Age Youth, will kick-off National Runaway Prevention & Homeless Youth Awareness Month with a community event in Leimert Park on Wednesday, November 1st, from 6 pm – 8 pm. This Awareness Arts Showcase, curated by SOH’s Youth Action Board, will be held at the ORA (formerly Hot & Cool Café) 4331 Degnan Blvd, LA 90008, and will feature art, poetry, song, skit and food catered by the Watts Coffee House.
During the month of November, SOH will lead a public awareness campaign to “shine a light” on drivers and situations that cause youth to run away from home or face a housing crisis. Every year, Sanctuary of Hope leads educational and engagement activities throughout the county to inform and mobilize calls for action.
It is estimated that 4.2 million young people between the ages of 13 and 25 experience some form of homelessness in the United States each year; and in Los Angeles County, nearly 3,000 youth experience homelessness on the streets any given night.
“A housing crisis looks different for youth and young adult populations. For one, youth and young adults who are unstably housed are often invisible or hidden in plain sight because they are couch surfing, moving precariously among relatives and friends, or evasive to avoid being reported,” stated Janet Kelly, Executive Director of SOH. “For youth who run away, leaving is a last resort to flee abuse or neglect and/or stressful household or environmental conditions. The consequences of unstable housing are disparaging, such as mental health problems, substance use, victimization and criminal activity, domestic violence and human trafficking, unsafe sexual practices, and barriers to education and employment. Without prevention and swift interventions, episodic bouts of housing insecurity can turn into long-term homelessness”, added Ms. Kelly.
Sanctuary of Hope believes that Functional Zero, a dynamic that indicates a community has solved homelessness for a population, is attainable and that youth homelessness should be rare, non-reoccurring and brief.
Events this month include:
- November 1, 6-8 pm – Kick-off Awareness Arts Showcase at the ORA
- November 8, 6-8 pm – Instagram Live with Lawrence Doss, PSA Counselor/CES Counselor in LACOES Homeless Education Office to discuss school supports for youth and families in a housing crisis.
- November 16 – Go Green Day to commemorate the month.
- November 17 – Light the Night
- November 28, 4:30-6:30 pm – Hope Place Antelope Valley will be hosting a conversation on prevention and the housing crisis.
- November 29, 6-8 pm – Candlelight Interfaith Prayer Vigil to close out the month, at the front steps of the SOH office at 4003 W. Adams, L.A. 90018
All events are FREE and the public is invited. Attendees are asked to RSVP and get more info by visiting www.thesoh.org
Download press release here.