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Plight of Homeless Youth Will be Focus of Nov. 20 Times Square Vigil
Date:11/12/2008

NEW YORK, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Covenant House International is releasing its First Annual Report Card on the US Homeless Youth Crisis, and gives a bleak outlook for their future. America's kids in crisis will be the focus of the 18th Annual Candlelight Vigil for Homeless Youth on Thursday, November, 20, 5:30 pm, in Times Square.

"Over 750,000 young people in the US are living and dying on our streets every year. We were able to help 70,387 homeless youth last year, 7% more than the year before, but this is still not enough, more needs to be done by all of us," explains James White, interim president and chief operating officer for Covenant House International, the largest privately funded agency in the Americas helping homeless kids.

"Our First Annual Report Card on the US Homeless Youth Crisis finds that the number of homeless and impoverished youth is growing and their outlook is bleak," says White. The report card examines 11 key indicators affecting children, including: population growth, poverty rates, employment opportunities, high school drop-out rates, health coverage, dental health, the foster care system, juvenile justice, arrests, substance use and death rates.

"18- to 24-year-olds make up the highest percentage of individuals living in poverty and they are twice as likely to be unemployed. Many of these kids are aging out of foster care at rates 30% higher than we typically see," says White adding, "One-third of the homeless kids helped by Covenant House come directly from foster care. The rest come from environments of abuse, neglect and other at-risk situations."

According to information gathered by Covenant House, once a kid becomes homeless, that youth is at a much greater risk for becoming incarcerated. The number of recent arrests of 18- to 24-year-olds has increased for prostitution (17%), drug violations (19%), weapons charges (25%) and vagrancy (28%). These kids also are at much greater risk for premature de
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SOURCE Covenant House International
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