The National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

Top Quote Where have all the homeless youth gone? The criminalization of the homeless has come to our home town. End Quote
  • Riverside-San Bernardino, CA (1888PressRelease) November 24, 2015 - Redlands, California: We searched the parks, grocery store parking lots, known hangouts for homeless youth in Redlands, California this week, to no avail. Usually, during the National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week concerned citizens, service organizations and others around the country who serve the under-served in our communities would be able to feed, give to and provide needed services to this population. However, this year with more and more cities criminalizing homelessness they are finding it difficult if not impossible to locate the people they want to help. The city of Redlands has joined the national movement to push homeless people underground and out of sight, even to the point of arresting them.

    "I could not believe that there were no homeless youth in the city on Saturday, it was as if they all had simply vanished", says Annette Patterson, LES, founder of Joshua Home: An LGBTQ Safe Haven. Team Joshua Home made up of student volunteers from the University of Redlands and Colton High school, searched from one end of town to the next, and found no homeless youth. Annette herself went out late Saturday night to see if she could catch any sleeping in the regular spots around town, not one youth was spotted. Speaking to a homeless young adult couple, who which to remain anonymous, Annette was told, "The cops came up to us and told us we couldn't sleep there, I was just taking a quick nap. They took all of our things, threw them all over the street and then arrested us." She began crying saying, "They threw away everything we had, now we are freezing night after night. They treated us like criminals and we are decent people who have just fallen on hard times."

    Making criminals out of nonthreatening, law abiding citizens, especially youth is causing homeless people, youth in particular to hide from the public. Which means services they would have been able to count on may no longer be available to them.

    In spite of the lack of homeless youth in the city of Redlands Joshua Home's Team including local business owner Dr. Traci of Creative Insights Counseling, fed around 90 homeless people in three cities in the Inland Empire, Sunday, November 22, 2015 the last day of #NHHAW.

    Approximately 2,000,000 homeless youth in America; 40% are LGBT+
    These youth are often forced to leave home or leave home due to unsafe living conditions
    Youth are at risk of being sexually assaulted, even forced into the ever growing sex trade

    Joshua Home is creating permanent gender inclusive housing solutions, supportive services and programs for LGBT+ and other homeless youth in the Inland Empire of Southern California. "Now more than ever, it is vital to have a safe place for these kids to go, their lives depend on it. That is why Joshua Home has reached out and asked the local government to donate a building to house Joshua Home Resources Outreach: Drop-in Center so that any unaccompanied youth has a place to go, day and night.", Annette said. Find out more about Joshua Home and its programs at www.joshuahomelgbtq.org.

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