Home Census Start of the youth homelessness census | WDVM25 and DCW50

Start of the youth homelessness census | WDVM25 and DCW50

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FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) – Across Maryland, thousands of youth and young adults live alone or are homeless. The Youth Homelessness Census is one of many resources working to address this persistent problem.

The Homeless Youth Census is a statewide initiative that identifies students ages 14-24 who are homeless without a parent or guardian.

The initiative then assists these children with multiple resources to help them get off the streets.

“This is the first year that all 24 jurisdictions will be participating, so it’s really an initiative to document the number of students and young adults who experience homelessness, but also to better understand how to connect with them and support them. while being homeless,” said SHIP executive director Maureen Walker.

Through the Student Homelessness Initiative Partnership better known as SHIP, children identified as homeless receive food and supplies as well as a housing program.

“Young people experiencing homelessness look different from adults. So they try to better understand the unique characteristics and be able to identify them, and then find the community services that are right for them,” Walker explained.

Nathan Williamson was homeless at the start of his sophomore year of high school. Williamson knows firsthand how difficult homelessness can be for a child. He says that without the ship and their resources, he wouldn’t be where he is today.

“I’m super grateful, especially now that I’m part of the host program here,” Williamson said. “I am grateful to them for being able to integrate me into the host family that I have, who have been so supportive and allowed me to do what I needed to start my life. and my things.”

The Youth Homelessness Count was able to help 74 children in Frederick County.