I support DC's homeless youth

November is National Homeless Youth Awareness Month. As advocates it is our job to rally the community to care about homeless youth in DC. Address and sign this letter so we can deliver it to local officials and work to end youth homelessness in five years! You can read the Plan to End Youth Homelessness in DC at http://tinyurl.com/plantoendYH.

    Dear __________,

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    My message

    I am writing to express my support of the Plan to End Youth Homelessness, as proposed by DC Alliance of Youth Advocates, Covenant House DC, Latin America Youth Center, Sasha Bruce Youthwork, StandUp for Kids DC, Wanda Alston Foundation, and the Washington Interfaith Network. Last year public funding supported just over 6% of emergency shelter beds occupied by young teens; meaning service providers have the heartbreaking job of routinely turning youth away. One youth shelter turned away more than 150 youth between February and May of 2013. Youth turned onto the streets must fend for themselves, too often falling victim to sexual exploitation, exposure to addiction, or being forced to engage in criminal behavior just to survive. This fate is unconscionable. If we want the next generation of DC parents, teachers, employees and leaders to be strong and successful; if we want to prevent costs in the justice system, the mental health system, and the costs associated with adult homelessness; we need to invest in young people today. If we don’t do anything, we will pay greatly for our inaction. The Plan develops a robust continuum of care for youth and young families by: • Advocating for data coordination and analysis through a centralized intake system, • Allocating funds for family reunification projects to prevent homelessness, • Addressing immediate needs by scaling up emergency and transitional housing, • Investing in long term supports for high-risk youth through lower cost, community driven housing options. As a DC resident and DC voter, I am asking that you commit to a long-range vision developed by experts with decades of experience working with homeless youth in DC. By investing $10,000,000 towards prevention, intervention and stabilization supports, you will equip our city with a system necessary to end youth homelessness. Through your support, we can end youth homelessness in the District of Columbia.
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    Signed,

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