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November 2016Vol. 17, No. 8Special Initiative Month: National Runaway Prevention Month and Homelessness Awareness

Every year, thousands of youth become homeless for myriad reasons—including running away from home or foster home. These youth often experience trauma that can have lifelong effects.

November has been recognized as National Runaway Prevention Month (NRPM) since 2002. This year's NRPM theme, "Friends Helping Friends," centers on how youth, parents, family members, and other concerned adults can help youth through tough times by being a friend who provides trust, support, and care.

  • The National Child Traumatic Stress Network offers resources about the effects of homelessness on youth, as well as resources for communities and families at
  • The Runaway and Homeless Youth Act site,, showcases the different experiences youth have, the progress that has been made to end youth homelessness by 2020, and how you can help support a local program.
  • The Runaway and Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center, funded by the Family and Youth Services Bureau, is available at and has education, services, and resources that can help mitigate the challenges programs and professionals face when serving this population.

Additionally, November 12–20 is National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week (H&H Week). Held every year the week before Thanksgiving, it is a time to remind us to think about what we are thankful for and be aware of those who are experiencing hunger and homelessness in our community. The National Coalition for the Homeless urges people to reach out help end hunger and homelessness in their communities through activism and local government. Visit to learn more about H&H Week and what you can do to help.

Visit the NRPM website at to learn more about how you can help support youth and teens. From national and local events to spreading the word on social media, encourage your community to #EndYouthHomlessness.