DO YOU NEED HELP?
When you were little, did you ever run away? Maybe you packed up your backpack and made it down the driveway or around the corner to your friend's backyard or to go to your grandparents. But after a little while, you forgot why you were running away and it was getting dark out, so you went back home.
Hopefully, that was the last time you ever thought about running away because there is a big difference between thinking about running away (or walking a few blocks down the street) and actually running away.
Running away is a serious problem. Maybe you know the National Runaway Switchboard, an organisation which answers calls and serves kids who ran away or are planning to leave their homes. Corresponding to this institution one in seven kids between the ages of 10 and 18 wants to run away at some point. And there are 1 million to 3 million eloped and unsheltered youngsters in the United States.
The Reality of Running Away
No more rules, no parent to tell you what to do, no more fights…. Sounds grandiose and thrilling, doesn’t it ? Facing the truth you recognise that running away is everything else than fun. There will be problems like not having any money, no food to eat, no safe place to sleep, or no one to look after them.
Homeless people and those without money become desperate, doing anything, e.g. stealing, dealing with drugs, just to assure their basic needs. This is the reason why they often get into risky situations which even frighten adults. Frequently they are participants of dangerous crimes - much more often than kids who live at home.
Some take drugs or are forced to do things they usually would not do to earn money. Also the number of kids with HIV or AIDS and other diseases increases on the streets.