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Youth Homelessness | Youth Advocacy Board | 07/21/2022

Continuing a conversation on the topic of The Struggles of Youth Homelessness:

We are starting to talk about topics that call on our personal experiences which can be intimidating so I wanted to remind everyone that nobody is required to share anything that they are uncomfortable with and that if you do share something with the YAB we are honored and appreciative of your vulnerability. The YAB is a safe space and judgment free zone, and respect is one of our guiding principles.

Some of the difficulties we discussed in previous meetings were:

  • Getting an ID

  • Keeping paperwork

  • Pet care

  • keeping and paying for a phone

  • Showering and learning about resources.

Last meeting, we elaborated on how these things also make it difficult to get or keep a job and staying in school. Also, we discussed the free phones ARE available!

We discussed the difficulties of flying a sign (panhandling) to our list:

  • Extreme weather

  • Having to get up early enough to get a good spot and no guarantee of success.

We also went over how having lived experience benefits this kind of work by allowing us to be a bit more compassionate, empathetic and understanding. And that bringing people with lived experience into this field can be very inspirational for the people being assisted.

Maya shared her opportunity to be interviewed by journalist Kaelyn Lynch about housing insecurity in New Mexico and got to share her story with youth homelessness. Maya states: "sharing my experience was scary at first but honestly turned out to be really freeing and I am so grateful to have been able to share."

Next, we asked the YAB how they felt about sharing their stories and we had a sort of mini vote and agreed to have a story share style meeting next Thursday!

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