YES case manager "Kara" knows all too well what it’s like to be a homeless youth. Kara started running away from home in her early teen years, trying to avoid an abusive mother. She spent many nights sleeping on beds of hay in abandoned buildings and roaming the streets of her rural hometown.
“I was never looked at,” says Kara. “We just became part of the landscape. Youth homelessness is a problem that is often stepped over or ignored.”
Kara tries to remember her experiences when relating to the youth she works with in YES’ Transitional Living Program and Maternity Home.
“I try really hard to meet the youth where they are and accept them no matter what their situation is,” she says. She sees YES’ number one goal as getting youth off the street and into a safe place.
“I hope people understand the impact YES makes on the community and on our youth,” says Kara. “Our community is our number one supporter -- that’s all we have -- so we need to keep advocating to get youth off the streets.”