It's a parent's worst nightmare when their child has run away. A series of questions and incomprehensible outcomes run through their head. They wonder what to do, where their child was last seen, and what was discussed before they left home that day. Kids run away from home every day. Even more contemplate running. More than half of the youth calls handled by the National Runaway Switchboard deal with a youth who is already on the street as a runaway, throwaway or homeless youth.
November is National Runaway Prevention Month and Tahoe Youth and Family Services and the National Runaway Switchboard are embarking on the fifth annual national public education campaign to raise awareness of youth runaway issues, and to educate the community about solutions that help prevent Douglas County youth from running away.
The hope is to increase public awareness of the life circumstances of youth at risk of running away and the need for safe, healthy and productive alternatives for such youth and their families.
Youth younger than 18 are at higher risk for homelessness than adults. Young people who have made the choice to leave their homes are at an elevated risk for pregnancy, suicide attempts and substance abuse.
At Tahoe Youth and Family Services we know that preventing youth from running away is possible, but it helps when the community supports young people.
Tahoe Youth and Family Services Drop-In Center is for runaway, homeless, throwaway and couch-surfing youth in our community. The drop-in center is a place for youth to get recharged, get resources and get respect. The staff at the drop-in center can assist youth with food, clothing, laundry services, hygiene kits, help looking for a job, a place to live and obtaining proper identification.
Youth and families need to know that there are options and alternatives to running away from home and living on the streets and this is the mission of the Outreach and Drop-In Center Staff at Tahoe Youth and Family Services.
For information about the drop-in center or how to help runaway youth, contact Cheyanne Lane at (530) 307-0822.
Tahoe Youth & Family Services is at 719 Tillman Lane in the Gardnerville Ranchos. Information, 782-4202.