What does youth homelessness look like? You can't always tell. Kids with backpacks, walking down the street---could be any kid. And our numbers show that a few thousand youth in New Hampshire experienced homelessness last year. Some are in school. Some have jobs. Some are escaping abusive or neglectful homes, and some have been rejected from their own families for being different. Some struggle with trauma or mental illness, and others still, with addiction. Some are hungry, cold, and scared. Some are taking desperate measures to survive. And most of them are flying under the radar of their own communities.
The CFS SleepOut is an annual event through which we endeavor to raise our community consciousness about the problem, raise funds to aid and advocate for these youth, and get another step closer to ending youth homelessness in New Hampshire.
Waypoint is unique in its array of services for young people who are experiencing homelessness. The Street Outreach team puts boots on the ground and serves as a lifeline to at risk youth wherever they may be, offering two essential things: the basic elements to survive and the stuff with which to succeed. The Runaway & Homeless Youth Program provides crisis intervention and prevention in schools and the community, and can help youth resolve family conflict. At the Youth Resource Center, youth can access basic needs such as food, clothes, showers, and laundry, as well as life-changing services such as mental health counseling, substance misuse treatment, educational advocacy, job skills training, and more. The Transitional Living Program provides housing and support services to homeless youth as they advance toward independence and success.