Raising Awareness Of Youth Homelessness

KooDooZ® and Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica Organize a Community Sleep Out on 08/27/2010
Aug 16, 2010 6:45 PM ET

(3BLMedia/theCSRfeed) SANTA MONICA, CA - August 16th, 2010 - Youth homelessness is an extraordinary challenge.  Though it's an ambitious social initiative to want to end this crisis, KooDooZ and the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Monica are working together to educate the community about what they can do to help.

On Friday, August 27th, 2010, one hundred and fifty kids are invited to "sleep out" to raise awareness of youth homelessness, and will ultimately make a personal contribution by touching the lives of youth in need.

"Not since the Great Depression have so many kids stood at poverty's door," said Lee Fox, founder of KooDooZ.  "The purpose of this event is to expose the harsh realities of youth homelessness and also to give kids SMARTER ways to address this humanitarian challenge."

Today's homeless can not afford to be "invisible" -- too many are school age children, whose lives exist without the benefit of having a home.  These kids deeply rely on the compassion and understanding of their peers to get through their moment of "shame."  According to the National Center on Family Homelessness, approximately 679,000 homeless kids are in grades K-8 and 205,000 are in grades 9-12.  This potentially means any one of our sons and daughters share a desk with a child in a desperate situation.

"The Boys and Girls Clubs of America has always offered a safe and affordable place for kids to discover their potential to 'be great' and do great things," said Aaron Young, CEO of The Santa Monica Boys & Girls Club.  "Given that our Club has it's own fair share of homeless youth, I think it's important our members understand that on any given day, there are approximately 50 homeless families with children in Santa Monica."

Although the number of homeless youth is difficult to count, it's growing. Last year the National Center on Family Homelessness estimated that 2% of American youth, or 1.5 million children, are homeless based on data from 2005-2006. In addition, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, about 50,000 youth in the United States sleep on the street for six months or more.

Special guest speaker, 7-year old Jonas Corona will discuss how he has been able to help homeless youth through his organization, Love In The Mirror, via the donation of backpacks filled with supplies for middle school students. The Beachside Keystoners, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica's own leadership and fundraising member run club, will also be selling treats and taking donations to help create care packages for homeless youth and troops.

Additionally, while participants make no sew blankets for donation to the Los Angeles Youth Network, Ehecatl Rojas will discuss some of the characteristics and traits traditionally seen in homeless youth, explaining to participating kids that many are frequently shy and withdrawn.

"While the recession may have refocused our attention on the plight on the poorest families, our nation doesn't yet understand the actions every day people can take to help," reminds Fox.  "This event is an important way for kids and their families to learn how to better serve those in need."

Concerned citizens who live outside the area can impact youth homelessness by taking on the KooDooZ "Youth Homelessness" challenge.  Southern California residents are encouraged to attend and RSVP to this powerful event. 


About KooDooZ® Corporation:

KooDooZ ("Kü - Düz") is a "cause-based" social networking site designed to cultivate youth social entrepreneurs by “challenging” them to achieve specific philanthropic goals. In partnership with nonprofits, educators and profit-for-purpose organizations, each challenge is authored with easy-to-follow methodologies and anticipated times to complete. By sharing these challenges with friends and family, kids can virally garner support for the causes they care about most and earn credit towards the President’s Volunteer Service Award for those tasks that meet volunteerism, community service and service learning standards. For more information, visit www.KooDooZ.com

About the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Monica:

The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Monica is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing youth a safe and productive place to go when they need it most; afterschool and non-school days. Its mission is to enable and inspire all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as caring, responsible and productive citizens. From youth development programming to once in a lifetime field trips, we are a positive place for kids. For more information, please see www.smbgc.org

About Keystone Club:

Keystone is a community service and leadership club designed for kids 13 -18 years old. The Keystone club focuses on three pillars of academic success and career preparation, community service and teen outreach, as well as service to the Boys & Girls Club. Some of the initiatives Keystone is currently working on are creating care packages for homeless youth and the soldiers of 469th CCSB, and the youth of the Edgewood Center for Children and Families.

About Love In The Mirror:

Love in the Mirror is a charitable organization, which strives to inspire young people to make a difference through their volunteer commitment of providing needy and homeless youth basic necessities such as food, clothing and learning materials. Founded in 2009, after six-year old Jonas was denied the ability to volunteer at shelters due to his age, Jonas began to organize drives to help those in need by collecting items he felt no child should live without. He strives to meet the needs of homeless children, and with the help of dedicated adults, the young volunteers can grow into great community leaders and feel good about themselves, while offering those in need a chance to be happy by giving hope and teaching love. Jonas believes that every child should look in the mirror and love themselves. For more information, please see www.loveinthemirror.org

About Los Angeles Youth Network:

LAYN’s mission is to empower abused, neglected and homeless adolescents to become self-sufficient. We do this by providing street outreach, food, emergency shelter, transitional living apartments, and educational enrichment programs in a safe and nurturing environment.  For more information, please see www.layn.org