According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, a 2002 study put out by the US Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) found that there are over 1.6 million homeless and runaway youth in the United States, and this number is growing every year.
The National Coalition for the Homeless notes that these youth become homeless for a variety of reasons typically falling under three, often related, categories: family problems, economic problems, and residential instability. Youth leave home to escape problems, but they often become exposed to a wide variety of violence, including trauma, abuse, poverty, substance abuse, and increased incidence of contracting illnesses such as HIV. Many also face the challenges of finding safe places to sleep or even feeding themselves.
American Street Kid is a new documentary film sharing the stories of youth that have experienced the terrible reality of the traumas and difficulties that can lead to homelessness. The film was created by film maker Michael Leoni using footage from five years worth of interviews and work on the streets of Los Angeles collecting the voices of hundreds of youth living on the city’s streets.
This film is working to raise awareness about the very real problem of youth homelessness and to give voice to the millions of children and youth that are homeless across the United States.
Check out the campaign below: