National Runaway Prevention Month

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Please join us during National Runaway Prevention Month!

What: National Runaway Prevention Month is spearheaded nationally each November by our partner, the National Runaway Safeline (1800runaway.org). It is a chance to let the 4.2 million youth in the United States who experience some form of homelessness each year know that we see them and that safe shelter and caring adults are available to help them thrive through challenging situations.

You Can Help!: During November, we hope you will join Project Oz in recognizing National Runaway Prevention Month and help “shine a light” on the needs of homeless youth. There are many ways you can join the movement to prevent and end youth homelessness!

  • Spread the word by “Liking” and sharing our social media posts throughout the month, and telling your friends about Project Oz.
  • Show your support for runaway and homeless youth by taking and sharing pictures of yourself and your family or co-workers wearing green on Wednesday, November 10th. Don’t forget to tag Project Oz on your social media!
  • Light up your home or business with green for “Light the Night” on Wednesday, November 17th. We’d love to see your pictures! Please email Sam at sorensens@projectoz.org if you’d like to be added to our list of participating partners.

To impact even more young people, we will also be participating in Giving Tuesday on November 30th. We hope you will consider making us your charity of choice on Giving Tuesday and sharing our campaign. You can also click here to donate anytime during the month of November.

Why Now: As a result of the pandemic, more young people are experiencing family conflicts, financial stressors, mental health concerns, and barriers to resources for support that may cause them to leave home. Whether “couch-surfing” or living on the streets, youth without safe shelter are targets for sexual assault, exploitation, trafficking, and other violence. Focused on day-to-day survival, they are also more likely to leave school, have trouble finding or keeping a job, use substances as a coping mechanism, and become involved in the justice system. Youth may feel hopeless and trapped in a cycle of instability and trauma.

Project Oz’s Strategy: We connect quickly with youth in unsafe living situations through 24/7 crisis response, immediate access to safe shelter, and targeted street outreach.  We operate the only emergency shelter and transitional living programs for young people ages 10-23 in McLean and Livingston Counties. Wrap-around support, life skills education, and counseling help youth and families resolve conflicts and achieve their goals for the future.

But we don’t stop there. We also help young people throughout McLean County build the skills and knowledge to make safe choices and connect to caring adults through in-school substance use prevention, mental health awareness education, and embedded Restorative Schools counselors.

Together with friends like you, we are working to build a safer and healthier future for all young people in our community. Thank you for your support!

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