National Runaway Prevention Month: Join us!

Please join us during National Runaway Prevention Month! Each November, Project Oz partners with the National Runaway Safeline (1800runaway.org) to recognize National Runaway Prevention Month (NRPM). It is a chance to let the 4.2 million young people 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.

How 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. When you take action to support NRPM, you show young people they matter!

  • Spread the word by “Liking” and sharing our social media posts throughout the month, and telling your friends about Project Oz.

 

  • Wear Green Day, Thursday, November 10th – Dress in green, the color of NRPM, and post a picture on social media to show your commitment to supporting runaway and homeless youth. Help get others involved by inviting your friends or colleagues to join you. Don’t forget to tag Project Oz (@projectozyouth) and use #NRPM2022 on social media posts!

 

  • Light the Night, Thursday, November 17th – Join partner organizations, businesses, and individuals across the country by lighting up your home or business in green to show solidarity with youth experiencing housing insecurity. We’d love to see your pictures! Tag us on social media or email us atprojectoz@projectoz.org to be added to our list of partners. We also have a limited number of green lights available to share with those who would like to participate.

 

  • Visit local businesses that support NRPM. Our friends atSugar Mama Bakery and Fleet Feet kicked off the month by donating 10% of sales to Project Oz on October 29th and November 1st.Specs Around Town will contribute 5% of sales through November 26th andFt. Jesse Cafe will be donating $1 for every cold brew sold on November 8th. Watch our social media for announcements about additional sponsors!

 

  • Make a donation. Your gift allows us to quickly share safe shelter and help with even more youth. Click below to donate to our NRPM fundraising campaign any time during the month of November. We will also be participating in Giving Tuesday on November 29th. We hope you will consider supporting us on Giving Tuesday and sharing our campaign to extend our reach.

Donate to support runaway and homeless youth!

 

Why is NRPM Important?

As we recover from 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 invisible. NRPM is an opportunity to highlight young people’s experiences with housing insecurity, as well as the organizations and people who support them.

How Project Oz Helps

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 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.

Want to do more?

Would your business or organization like to do more? Partner with us as an Giving Tuesday Sponsor! Sponsors help lead community giving and inspire the generosity of others. Sponsorship opportunities start at just $500 and include recognition on social media. To explore the possibilities or to sign up as an official sponsor, please contact Lisa Thompson at 309-827-0377 or projectoz@projectoz.org.

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