The holidays often highlight family and special meals. But those can be delicate issues for some people, including homeless kids. Pam Cornell-Allen is Associate Director of Ozone House, a non-profit that helps homeless youth in Washtenaw County. She says the holidays focus on a sense of family, and that can be a tender subject for homeless kids.
“Part of the reason they are homeless is because of a family conflict. Or home might not even be a safe place. So they may not be spending holiday time with their family, and as a result they can feel lonely and depressed.”
Cornell-Allen also says cold weather can add another layer of stress. Many homeless kids spend lots of time outside or in poorly-heated houses and can’t afford extra clothing.
Ozone House has seen a rise in demand for its counseling services in recent months. Their crisis line has been getting more calls in general. Many of those calls are from young people contemplating suicide.