Josie’s childhood was normal. All her life, her parents had shown her unconditional love, so at 15, she told them that she identified as LGBTQ. All hell broke loose. Josie’s parents told her they would not accept her “lifestyle choice” and that she couldn’t stay with them until she repented. They became distant, harsh and emotionally abusive. Josie had to decide how to best protect herself. With no Weld County youth homeless shelters, she had to decide between sleeping on the streets or taking the abuse.
Youth homelessness is the fastest growing population of folks living in homelessness. Many youth feel trapped in unhealthy living situations at home and feel their only option is to leave their home. Some are asked to leave due to complicated family situations. Often, these youth will keep their homelessness hidden for fear of being placed in the foster care system. Check out these Statistics and Solutions about youth homelessness.