At NRS, we are constantly working to develop greater public understanding of the root causes of, and possible solutions to, the runaway and homeless…

At NRS, we are constantly working to develop greater public understanding of the root causes of, and possible solutions to, the runaway and homeless youth epidemic in our country. One misconception we often hear is that youth who have run away or living on the street are ‘bad kids.’ As the research has shown, however, youth who have run, been thrown out, and/or are living on the street are most often good kids caught in bad situations.

One particularly misunderstood group of young people is youth that are living on the street and/or in shelters who also have a mental health condition. On top of all the misconceptions around homeless young people there is also often a lack of understanding of mental illness among the general public. Young people on the street may exhibit behaviors that are perceived as ‘angry,’ ‘combative,’ or ‘rude,’ when in fact these behaviors may be caused by PTSD, anxiety, and/or depression.

Further, life on the street is incredibly difficult, with young people frequently witnessing violence, experiencing food insecurity, and dealing with the elements. These difficult conditions can not only exacerbate existing mental health conditions, but also create new mental health challenges. At NRS, we ensure that all of our callers have a safe place to turn whether they need a referral for counseling services or just need someone to listen.

To learn more about youth homelessness, visit our research page, which hosts original research commissioned by NRS as well as relevant third party statistics.

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