Friday, November 24th, 2017

“First Annual November Night Out” to be held

Posted: Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Youth Services Bureau of Huntington County, in conjunction with the National Runaway Prevention Month in November, is hosting the “First Annual November Night Out.” The event will be held on Friday, November 3 at the YSB office located at 1344 Maple Drive.

“This event is to bring awareness to the issue of youth homelessness,” stated Danielle Snyder, Safe Place/Host Home (Runaway and Homeless Youth services) coordinator.

According to 2016 data, there are over 380,000 homeless and unaccompanied youth under the age of 18 in the United States. This number has consistently increased over the past ten years, according to experts.

“In rural communities, homeless youth are not easily identified. These young people are often hiding in plain sight. They are sleeping on friends or relative’s couches, sleeping in cars or campgrounds. These young people try to keep their lives as normal as possible so they attend school, participate in community events, etc. in an effort to not bring attention to themselves,” stated Jan Williams, executive director.

Some of the reasons youth find themselves homeless include identifying as LGBTQ, mental health issues, history of maltreatment, substance abuse and a lack of affordable housing. Some common signs of homelessness include lack of continuity of education, poor health/nutrition, attendance problems, lack of trust, poor hygiene, marked change in behavior and an anxiety late in the school day.

“The community event will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. It is free and open to the public. From 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., the event will move to Drover Park (next the YSB office) and turn into a fundraiser with individuals participating in activities and ending with a night out in the park in cardboard boxes. The participants are asked to seek donations or sponsors. The money raised will allow the participants to bring water, a pillow, a flashlight, a blanket, a sleeping bag and/or a lawn chair. There is a cost and all money raised will be used to help homelessness services and prevention,” stated Snyder.

To attend the community event no pre-registration is needed. To participate in the night out in the park, registration is strongly encouraged but can be made the evening of the event. To learn more about the event or to register contact the Youth Services Bureau at (260) 356-9681 or email questions to d.snyder@ysbofhuntingtonco.org.