We all go through difficult moments in life and sometimes those difficult moments seem to last forever. However, there is always hope and help if we know where to find it.
Being a teen is not easy. Teens often struggle to find their identity and become independent. Most teens feel misunderstood by parents and others close to them and some may even feel disconnected from everything around them. These feelings are all very normal and are usually balanced by the excitement of growing up and exploring the world in a healthy way.
Sometimes, however, personal frustrations along with problematic situations at home lead some teens to think about running away. Running away is a big decision that can have serious consequences both in the short and long term. Life on the streets is difficult and dangerous; not as attractive or exciting as is often portrayed in movies and books.
If you are thinking about running away, first consider the many dangers you would be exposed to on the streets. It is not just about facing extreme weather conditions. Homeless teens, and adults as well, are subject to assault, rape and prostitution and may contract life-threatening illnesses such as Hepatitis and HIV. The link below provides additional information about what happens to many runaway teens once they are on the street.
Emergency youth shelter programs are available nationwide and provide the basic necessities. Many youth shelters also provide other beneficial services such as counseling and case management. However, youth shelter services are in high demand and they may not be able to accommodate you if there is no space available.