Tackling the Homeless Youth Crisis

Hilarie Bass

Imagine wanting to register for school, but you are turned away for lack of identification documents and you have no family members. Imagine having a chance at your first job that will help pay for food, but without a lawyer to help get a previous minor offense expunged, that door will be slammed in your face. Imagine falling asleep on a park bench because you have nowhere to go, then waking up in handcuffs to find a police officer taking you away. These are challenges some of the more than 500,000 homeless youth in this country, and an estimated 100 million homeless youth worldwide, face daily. The American Bar Association (ABA) believes this is a global civil rights issue, and in August 2017, created the Legal Needs of Homeless Youth Initiative to address problems preventing children in the United States and globally from growing up safely, receiving an education, and leading productive lives.

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