“They can’t go to mom and dad’s house…
Their support system is just nonexistent.”
A story by the Courier-Journal highlights the Coalition’s call to action:
- 555 people ages 18-24 slept in local adult homeless shelters in 2012, more than twice the number reported in 2011
- 18 percent of Jefferson County residents ages 18-64 were living in poverty in 2012, up from 14.4 percent in 2008
- At one shelter, Haven House, clients aged 18-24 have quadrupled compared with five years ago — now comprising a quarter of its nearly 70 residents on most days.
Some of our community’s vulnerable youth and young adults are struggling because of family traumas, criminal records, mental illness or substance abuse. Most are unable to find employment because of these problems or because they have dropped out of high school or college or returned from military service without applicable skills. More than half, according to estimates, were in foster care when they turned 18 years of age.
Mayor Greg Fischer and other advocates called a news conference in Sept 2013 to call attention to the needs of Louisville’s vulnerable youth and young adults, asking the community to step up as mentors, donors and volunteers. Fischer urged Louisville residents not to “walk the other way and say it’s not my problem.”
“We have a vested interest … because they are the wage-earners of our future,” said Stacy Deck, vice-chair of the coalition board.