As a high school student, I have often heard accusatory comments that so-and-so is only involved with social activism or a service project because "she wants to put it on her resume" or "he just wants to gain admission to college."
The 4th Annual Sleep Out Broadway Edition is about bringing awareness and support to New York's largest NGO dedicated to providing shelter, food and crisis care for homeless, runaway and at risk youth.
Of New York's 1.1 million public school students, one in 12 are homeless. Many live doubled up with extended family or are temporarily housed in hotels or motels. But more than 23,000 live in family shelters on any given day.
Many of you know me as a follower of Jesus, and those of you that have been paying attention, also know me as a "straight ally." To me, I actually believe both of those descriptions of me are connected.
LGBTQ teen homelessness is an often-overlooked aspect of the national struggle for equality. Of the nearly 2 million teens affected by homelessness each year, an estimated 40 percent of them identify as LGBTQ.
Imagine she retreats to a shelter where aggressive, belligerent, or intoxicated people accost her, make snide comments about her child, and multiply the fears that first led her to the shelter. Should she stay? Would you?
Last month I recalled the story of Antwone Fisher, who was informed upon aging out of foster care at 18 years old that he was on his own. He was directed to a nearby homeless shelter, and left to figure out the rest himself. That continues to happen every day across the United States.
I have been talking with homeless kids from all over the country, asking them to help us understand what it means to be left on the streets, asking them to give witness to what they endure. I ask you to look into their traumatized eyes and listen with me to their heartbreaking testimonies.