#BeKind21: Show Compassion for Your Unhoused Neighbors 

September 18, 2020
This story took place in United States

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Today’s #BeKind21 message is brought to you by our partners at Safe Place for Youth.

Last year, at Safe Place for Youth (SPY), we served over 1,500 unhoused or at-risk young people in West Los Angeles. Kindness is integral to our mission of ending youth homelessness. It’s ingrained in every aspect of the organization, in every component in our comprehensive continuum of care—from a shower, to a meal, to connecting street-based youth with housing services. Young people who identify as LGBTQ+ are disproportionately impacted by homelessness and are 40% more likely to experience homelessness. At SPY, a quarter of the youth we serve identify as LBGTQ+. 

For many of the youth we serve, distrust and fear of systems designed to help are common. A simple act of kindness can help us build a bridge, build trust, and build a relationship. At SPY, we serve with an open heart with the goal of creating a safe, supportive place where unhoused youth can retreat from the stresses and uncertainties of life and can provide respite that allows them to pause, to feel seen, heard, welcome, and understood. What may start as a small act of kindness, a cool bottle of water on a hot day or a new pair of boxers, can be the first step in building a life away from the streets.

Our unhoused neighbors are often forgotten, ignored, and discounted. But, to solve the growing homelessness crisis in the U.S. it’s going to take facing the problem head-on. Start small. Show compassion for those experiencing homelessness. See, hear, and acknowledge them.  

Your kindness challenge today: Send a pair of boxers to SPY or a local homeless shelter. For homeless youth, necessities like underwear, boxers, and socks, are luxury items.

Learn more about youth homelessness and get involved in the solution to end it by visiting us at safeplaceforyouth.org.

In Kindness,

Safe Place for Youth

P.S. Invite someone to join the challenge: bornthisway.foundation/bekind21.

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