Authored by: Khanh Tong, Prevention Case Manager
Estimates of about 1.6 – 2.8 million youth run away from home each year in the United States. National Runaway Safeline (NRS) and National Network for Youth (NN4Y) spearhead the Runaway Prevention Month which takes place every November. The campaign helps raise awareness of youth runaway and homelessness, it also hopes to educate the public about solutions and their role in ending youth homelessness.
Many youths runaway due to violence in the family, family conflicts, school problems, peer pressure, drugs/alcohol, and Some LGBTQ youths are kicked out by their parents because parents can’t accept the child’s sexual orientation.
Some of the statistics about runaway youths that are important to know: Youths who run away from home has a 73% chance of dropping out of school, and 10-18% chance of not graduating high school, 80% have been physically or sexually abuse, 10-28% reported having to participate in survival sex (trade sex for food/shelter).
It is dangers for youths who are running away from home, at Salt Lake County Youth Services we do our best to play a role in helping youths who have thoughts about running away. Our partnership with National Safe Place has been in Salt Lake County for over 2 decades providing youths with 88 safe place sites to come seek for help to if they’re thinking about running away. A text for help number is also available by texting “help” to 69866 for interactive texting with someone who can help them.
For help immediate help within Salt Lake City, our Juvenile Receiving Center (177 West 3610 South. South Salt Lake City, UT. 84115) also has a walk-in policy for youths who seeks help; providing them with crisis counseling, laundry, shower, and a place to rest for up to 8 hours without having to verify identification.