By CommonAction - The youth engagement specialists  



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Homeless Youth & Social Change



The Freechild Project has found that across the nation a growing number of homeless young people are realizing their collective power through activism and education.  They are working together in loose knit networks and through organizations dedicated to empowerment.


Point to Ponder

"I have seen the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked..." From Allen Ginsberg's poem, Howl.



The following organizations and resources have been identified by Freechild to provide information about the growing movement among homeless young people for social change.




Peace for the Streets by Kids from the Streets

1411 E. Olive Way, Seattle, WA 98122

Phone: (206)726-8500 Email:

PSKS works with a volunteer staff of homeless and street-involved young people to provide assistance and address community misconceptions about homelessness. The PSKS model empowers young people to design programs and participate in decision-making while promoting dialogue between street-involved youth and other community members.


Coalition for Homeless and Housing in Ohio's Youth Empowerment Program

The Youth Empowerment Program (YEP), under COHHIO’s umbrella, is a homeless youth program comprised of seven youth councils, consisting of youth ages 10-24 who all experienced homelessness in various ways around the state of Ohio, dedicated to empowering youth through leadership, advocacy and education.  This effort encourages youth to take control of their life situations while building self-esteem and improving the quality of life for themselves and other homeless youth.


The Back Door

PO Box 46067, Inglewood RPO, Calgary, AB T2G 5H7
Phone: (403) 269-6658 Email:

'"The Back Door" is not just about getting young people off the street. It is designed as an environment which seeks to discover, understand and communicate the factors which indicate the need for social change in our community. The fact that people are living on the street is only part of much larger social questions. We believe that if social change is to be achievable, our society must go beyond our traditional ways of thinking.


Pongo Publishing

A volunteer, non-profit effort with Seattle teens who are in jail, on the streets, or in other ways leading difficult lives. We help these young people express themselves through poetry and other forms of writing. In our work we ask the teens to speak from the heart about who they are as people, and the teens often respond by writing about traumatic losses that occurred when they were little children, losses such as the death of a parent, abandonment, neglect, abuse, and a parent's addiction.


Other Information


National Network for Youth

Provides important legislative information about youth homelessness, including a brief on current federal policy, and a useful tool for you to contact your politician.


National Alliance to End Homelessness - Ending Youth Homelessness

Includes dozens of resources, publications, and more that can inform and educate young people and adults about the need to end youth homelessness.


The McKinney-Vento Act: Educating Children and Youth in Homeless Situations

Site includes resources and updates, as well as the history, the legality, and other useful details surround the Act.



From the story: "''Rooster' had followed a different trajectory than many street kids, and his transformation was an inspiration to many of his peers gathered to mourn his passing." This is the story of one homeless youth activist in Seattle who was murdered for his convictions.




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