IMPACT
11/18/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Ending Youth Homelessness: How HuffPost Readers Can Get Involved

Last month, the Virgin Mobile FreeFest brought tens of thousands of people out to Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, to help end youth homelessness. According to the Virgin Mobile-sponsored Re*Generation, up to two million young people face homelessness each year. Since 2006, over $3 million has been invested in this program.

Last week, you may have read Arianna Huffington's blog post on how drastically she was affected by a New York Times story about the rapid increase in homeless schoolchildren due to foreclosures.

Clearly, an epidemic of homeless youth is a crisis we cannot afford. Below are several steps HuffPost readers (or anyone, for that matter) can get involved in making sure American children have shelter, clothing, food and access to education.

  • Text the word FREEFEST to 20222 and you will donate5 to The Re*Generation (It'll be added to your monthly bill).
  • Go through a list of volunteer opportunities through Virgin Unite. Attendees at the FreeFest pledged over 30,000 hours of community service to help combat youth homelessness.
  • If you know a young person who's lost their home or is thinking of running away, you can get involved and help. Call 1-800-RUN-AWAY, the National Runaway Switchboard, who can help discuss issues with depressed teenagers. Visit the Family and Youth Services Bureau for help finding shelter for a homeless youth.