1 in 7 US kids run away, struggle for home, glow walk ignites activism in Rapid City

Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 12:01 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - In the US, one in seven children between the ages of 10 and 18 will run away from home for various reasons, according to the National Runaway Switchboard. Many of those kids never find a place to call home.

In the US, around one million to three million runaway and homeless kids are living on the streets, according to kidshealth.org, and members of the Raid City Community are trying to spread awareness of this issue in the state of South Dakota.

“In the past year, we’ve had over 300 youth and young adults enter the CES system, as well as just this past year since we started the YHDP Grant,” explained Youth Action Board Representative Hannah Brink.

In 2022, through the Youth Homeless Demonstration Program, 82 of those over 300 children were put into the Coordinated Entry System due to being imminently houseless or having been houseless for a while.

“Many of the young people that are dealing with housing insecurity or running away feel like they are alone, that they have nobody to talk to, and that there is nobody they can reach out to. When in reality, there are a lot of hidden resources that need to be more prominent,” explained Brink.

Through the green glow that represents National Runaway Youth Awareness Month, those who participated in the Glow Walk on Tuesday learned more about the resources available to those kids who are homeless.

“The more we know, the better we’ll be, and so I think sometimes education and awareness really are the first steps to creating those positive solutions that our community needs,” explained Black Hills Regional Homeless Coalition Youth Task Force adult mentor and facilitator Kristin Kiner.

If you want to learn more about some of those resources available to the public you can head to the 211 help center website or call 211 to help you connect with CES access points.