02/12/2009 04:26 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

An Ugly Truth

Nobody seems to know this awful fact: one out of every three homeless in America is under the age of 18. Yikes.

This year alone, there are 1.6 million young American adults who are homeless. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, the majority of homeless and runaway youth are between the ages of 15 and 17. However, 13% of these kids are age 12 or younger. A third of all runaways will attempt suicide and homeless youth are up to ten times more likely to have or contract HIV than non-homeless adolescents.

We launched a "Teens for Jeans" Campaign to collect donated denim for these homeless kids-but also to drive awareness of youth homelessness more generally. So bring your jeans to a local Aeropostale store and know that
you're clothing a homeless kid.

Better yet, email this blog to 3 friends and know that you're shedding light on a dark secret about youth homelessness in America.