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Our Youth

Every Year, More Than 2 Million Kids in America Will Face a Period of Homelessness

We believe that being homeless is a season of hardship and behind every young person who has experienced homelessness is a story needing to be told – a young pregnant girl without support, a young man who lost his parents to the unfair justice system, individuals who identify LQBTQ and kicked out by their guardians, a teenager trying to escape gang life or a life of forced prostitution.

As reports by our partners at Covenant House show, "in case after case, the main cause of youth homelessness is physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse from parents or guardians."

The facts about homelessness are staggering ...

  • 57% of homeless kids spend at least one day every month without food.

  • Estimates show that LGBTQ youth comprise up to 40 percent of the total unaccompanied homeless youth population, even though they make up five to 10 percent of the overall youth population.

  • In the United States, as many as 20,000 kids are forced into prostitution by human trafficking networks every year.

  • According to a study of youth in shelters, nearly 50% reported intense conflict or physical harm by a family member as a major contributing factor to their homelessness.

  • More than 25% of former foster children become homeless within two to four years of leaving the system.

  • 50% of adolescents aging out of foster care and juvenile justice systems will be homeless within six months because they are unprepared to live independently and have limited education and no social support.

A Study shared by Chicago Coalition for the Homeless states Chicago’s homeless students are overwhelmingly children of color, at 98.3%. While 81% of homeless students were black, they comprise only 36.6% of citywide enrollment. Homeless enrollment was also 16% Latinx, 1.5% other ethnicities, and 1.5% white.


Our Part

With these staggering facts of pain come powerful facts for healing through the arts and the importance of leadership and presence.

This is why One Heart One Soul works as a bridge of mental health through artistic approach, quality of life products, resources and entrepreneurial opportunities as we partner with youth shelters to serve our youth together. Our mission, vision and pillars are built on these foundations and we will continue to serve youth, without an age out system.

Our initial engagement with transient youth at shelters happens through our Called to Create art workshops and grows through consistency, support and advocacy.

We invite you to view our most recent exhibit, TRANSITION, curated by formerly homeless youth for UIC Spring 2020 Exhibitions.

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