Are You Listening. Homeless youth project. Getting stuff done.

Our local communities should present themselves to the forefront of this solvable homeless youth problem. Because no young adult should leave foster care without a permanent supportive home.

And get it done for our homeless youth.

Because nearly 13,000 young people in the state of Washington under age 25 are withouit a permanent supportive home.

Of those unaccompanied youths, nearly 6,000 are students in K-12 public schools. And failing to ensure every single one of those homeless kids has a permanent supportive home is a disgrace for the state of Washington.

And a complete disgrace for the homeless kids in Central Florida as well.

Because the state of Florida has been stinking up the homeless student debacle for years. At last count, 73,000 homeless students in this state.

With Orange County in Central Florida leading the pack with 6,800 homeless students. And that number is most likely around 20,000 homeless students.

And with $3.85 million in federal taxpayer dollars. Your taxpayer dollars. Public investment dollars.

To hire at least 1 Homeless Student Liaison in all 52 school districts in this state. To coordinate and provide our homeless students with the services they need to succeed educationally.

For tutoring. For mentoring. For activities. For connections to subsidized health, dental and mental health counseling. Temporary housing assistance.

This group of people only managed to get 100 homeless students their free college tuition waiver. Only 100. That's not even 2 homeless graduating high school senior per school district.

For an entire aademic school year. What a fail.

At the very least, our Central Florida leaders should ensure homeless youths don’t fall into homelessness directly after leaving foster care. Or after leaving our juvenile detention centers. Or leaving high school.

What an utter fail.

More than 400 juveniles in the state of Washington were left high and dry by parents who refused to pick them up from the Pierce County detention center.

For another 146 youths, you couldn't even find a parent. What a complete fail.

Central Florida has commissions. Task forces. Committees. Sub-committees. Community workgroups. Annual Reports. Research. Agencies and organizations.

And most, if not all, sit inert. Towards addressing homeless youth leaving foster care. No urgency. No priorities. No clear goals. No deadlines.

Not one fully-invested developed homeless youth plan in Central Florida. No implementations. No demonstrated results.

Sitting inert. Pondering. And pontificating. About whether or not we are doing to do something concrete this year for our homeless youth.

Our local communities should present themselves to the forefront of this solvable homeless youth problem. Because no young adult should leave foster care without a permanent supportive home.

 

Not one.

 

Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/opinion/article128558284.html#storylink=cpy

 

Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/opinion/article128558284.html#storylink=cpy

No young adult should leave a detention center without a permanent supportive home.

 

Not one.

 

And when presented with an opportunity to change the trajectory of a young person's life. By getting them into permanent supportive home.

 

You don't vote. You don't create awareness. You don't do fundraisers. You don't hashtag everybody to death.

 

You set clear priorities. You set clear goals. You implement actions. And you demonstrate results.

 

You don't assign responsibility to other leaders. You are the leader. You don't pontificate about how things need to change. You are the change.

 

You don't attend trainings. You are the trainer.

 

You don't say that administrators need to be held accountable. You pick up the phone. And hold them accountable.

 

Our local communities should present themselves to the forefront of this solvable homeless youth problem. Because no young adult should leave foster care without a permanent supportive home.

 

And get it done for our homeless youth.