In New York City, nearly 20,000 people 24 years old and younger are homeless, which is more than the capacity of Madison Square Garden. Of that number, approximately 42% are younger than age 5. Homeless youth are often fleeing unsafe situations, though life on the street exposes them to physical and sexual abuse, theft, and criminal activity. Every year, approximately 5,000 homeless young people will die because of assault, illness, or suicide while simply trying to survive.
Streetwork Project provides shelters for homeless teens and young adults up to ages 24. Each drop-in center assigns a homeless youth with a primary counselor and offers meals, showers, clothing, legal assistance, psychiatric counseling, medical services, and parenting instruction. Streetwork works with some of the most challenging homlessness cases yet provides homeless youth the rare opportunity to socialize in a safe, non-judgmental setting and get the support they need to rebuild their lives.
Beyond providing immediate shelter, food, and medical care, Streetwork also offers access to psychological counseling, legal services, education and job training - long-term assistance programming necessary to stabilize a young person. This year, we served over 1,000 young people at our drop-in centers, roughly 1/6 of the entire estimated NYC youth homeless population. With additional funding, we can reach even more young people, leading to reductions in crime, disease, and public expenditures.