Homeless Youth Speak

9 years 6 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, November 04 2010 Nov 4, 2010 Thursday, November 04, 2010 10:47:29 PM CDT November 04, 2010 in News

COLUMBIA- November is Homeless Youth Awareness Month. The Rainbow House kicked off the month with a panel of unique teens and young adults who were once homeless in Columbia.

Rainbow House started the Sol house in 2007.

"We realized there's an invisible demographic that's happening, " said marketing director Brenda Jackman.

That missing demographic includes ages 16 to 21. 


According to the Rainbow House, in 2008 and 2009 in Columbia, there were nearly 200 homeless youth in grades K-12th.

There were also more than 150 young adults between the ages of 16 and 21 who were homeless. 

"I don't think we realize that it's actually going on here in Columbia. We assume it's larger cities, it's urban," said Jackman.

More than 40 Columbia residents came to hear the panel's stories.

Twenty one-year-old Sky Wyatt found herself homeless at just 20 years old. She's been out on her own since she was 18 years old.

"I had an apartment, and it became a party house, so we got evicted, " Wyatt said.

Through the Sol house, people like Wyatt get counseling, schooling, a warm place to stay and help finding a job.

The Rainbow House wants to address and educate the community about homeless youth in Columbia.

It will hold educational events throughout the month. 

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