Grace Minnesota

Letter to the President

How the president can help reduce teen homelessness because it is a big and overlooked problem our country faces.

Dear Mr. President,

It is estimated that there are 1.3 million homeless youth every night. Youth homelessness is one of the many overlooked problems our country faces. Homelessness can lead to a life full of many hardships. Teens facing homelessness are in danger of not receiving a good education or any education which leads to a hard time finding a job and many teens face complications when in search of finding a permanent or semi-permanent home until they get back on their feet. Also, many teens become homeless before or after foster care. Many of these problems that youth homeless face can be prevented or improved by us, but in order to make a significant change we need you as the President to make regulations, give funding and fix the problems beyond our capability.

Education is something that everyone needs in order to excel in the world. A child that misses out on an education is like a bird trying to fly without wings. According to the National Coalition of Homeless, 75% of homeless teens drop out of school. Education is closely related with jobs. Without an education in today's economy, it is hard to get a job that pays enough for a stable life. Homeless teens without a job have no way of making money to even have a shot at saving up for even the cheapest place to stay. First, the government should create easy access schools in areas where there is a high homeless population, in which homeless student can attend and get an education. The government should create a funding system for homeless teens in which they can apply to get money that can be used to get an education, a place to stay and a job. Education is a small piece to a larger puzzle. It is in a direct cordinance with homelessness and can play a big factor.

Homeless teens often are in search of a semi-permanent home to stay in while they find a way to get on their feet again and find a more permanent solution. Public housing and subsidized apartments are often a solution to this problem. This solution may seem like a easy and efficient process but in most cases, it is not. Teens that apply for a place in public housing are in competition with families in which their priority is almost always put below families. This significantly cuts down the number of places for homeless teens to stay. When there is not enough places to stay, it takes a significant amount of time for a spot to open up. In the article “Young Adults Seeking Public Housing? Good Luck.”, Ron Ashford, a director at the federal housing authority says “the waiting list can be up to ten years”. This problem can be solved by the government giving homeless organizations more funding to build more apartments and public housing to help reduce the number of homeless teens. Also the government can create regulations in which teens in need of a home aren't overlooked and their priority is the same as everyone else.

One of the leading causes to teen homelessness is foster care. In the article titles “A Bill Of Rights For Foster Children”, it says “22,392 kids graduated from foster care in 2014 without a place to call home or people to live with.” That is a disturbing number. When kids are pulled from their homes because of neglect or abuse, we owe them a forever home. In most cases, government custody is a dead end in kids lives. They don't receive the love and care that is necessary to a happy life. When kids get put into a foster care that is not a suitable lifestyle they run from it and become homeless, thinking this will be a better way of life. Whether a kid just left foster care or is being taken from home they must be put in a more permanent situation and given a life that would mimic the life of a typical teenager in order to reduce teen homelessness. The government can do this by making sure that when kids are pulled from home, they go to a foster care in which they live a healthy and normal lifestyle. Also, the government can make a law that states in order for someone to leave foster care, they must have a place to call home that meets regulations.

Teen homelessness is a problem that needs to change. Greater, more effective actions need to be taken by the government. Homelessness is a problem that is solvable but it will take work. The majority of hardships that homeless teens face are problems that us, the people are causing. By the government giving funding to homeless organizations we can help to give homeless teens a piece of hope in a normal lifestyle. By the government creating regulations on foster homes we can help give them a sense of home away from home. This overlooked problem needs to be taking into further consideration and serious actions need to be taken to end teen homelessness.



Ryan, Kevin. “A Bill of Rights For Foster Children.”

The Huffington Post,*

Saturn, Kasey. “Young Adults Seeking Public Housing? Good Luck.”

Youth Radio,*