On Friday, April 19, 268 youth participated in A Night on the Street to learn from those who have experienced homelessness and to advocate for $8 million for the Homeless Youth Act. On a record cold evening they spent the night in boxes in the Plymouth Congregational Church parking lot in hopes that others their age won’t have to.
The teens wrote personal messages and discussed why the issue of youth homelessness is important to them and used social media to share those messages. They talked about their own dreams for the future, who in their lives will help them achieve those dreams — and how these dreams might be different if they were homeless.
I was impressed at the number of participants who bet the dreams would be the same, but far less likely to be achieved without the resources of those with homes and families to lean on. They discussed how unfair it is that Minnesota may be missing out on the future’s best doctors, artists and students because we only contribute 13 cents per night per youth in our state to give homeless young adults the services and support they need.
If you agree that Minnesota's homeless youth deserve more than $0.13, then keep spreading their messages. If you haven’t recently done so, now is the time to talk to your legislator about why you share these teens’ passion to meet the needs of other young people. Let him or her know how proud you are of youth in Minnesota or at your congregation for standing up for homeless youth and the campaign for $8 million for the Homeless Youth Act. Tell our elected officials to listen to what their young constituents said, look at powerful pictures of them advocating, and support funding for the Homeless Youth Act. Legislators will be making their final decisions in the next few weeks.
Right now, you can watch and share this 3-minute video from Friday's event.
You can visit our Facebook photo album and share your favorite pictures with your message to legislators. Or if you're tweeting, we encourage you to use the hashtags #HomelessYouthAct and #mnleg
You can find your legislator's contact information here.