The SHUCC Social Justice Team, in coordination with PFLAG Hernando, held an Educational Forum and Fundraiser for the homeless youth in Hernando County on Sunday, January 22nd. Our goal was to raise $1,000, which would allow us to provide 100 Blessing Bags filled with personal hygiene and non perishable food items (each valued at $10).
The response was amazing to our requests for personal hygiene products for the Homeless Youth of Hernando County! THANK YOU just isn’t enough for all the wonderful items and your thoughtful attendance at the Educational Forum. Members of PFLAG Hernando prepared 41 pull string bags and 43 pocket books for distribution to our Hernando County Schools to share with our Homeless youth.
Our goal with this initial forum was to prepare 100 Blessing Bags. We delivered 30 bags in December, before the students left for their Holiday break. With the 84 bags that were prepared last night brings it bring our total count to 114 bag total, to date. The amazing part is we still have 4 LARGE totes full of product that will be available to each school who needs refills AND we have $410 in funds to purchase additional items as they are needed.
Also, a handful of our church family participated in the annual homeless count on Tuesday, January 24, 2017. When the final count is available we will share it with you. Again, thank you so much for your continued generosity in sharing your love with our youth.
Here are some terms and facts that will help you better understand what some of our youth are facing:
A “Blessing Bag” is generally a gallon plastic bag filled with personal hygiene items such as: tooth paste, tooth brushes, deodorant, soap, shampoo, feminine hygiene products, beanie caps and socks.
Couch surfing is the term for people who live on friends and families “couches” when they are unable to live with their Parents or guardians. After they over stay their welcome at one home they surf to another home.
LGBTQ is the acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning.
Nationally, 43% of all homeless youth are LGBTQ. Some have been kicked out because of who they are and others left because they felt it was not safe to stay.
With in 48 hours of being on the street most youth are approached by a Pimp and enticed with food and a safe place to live.
Life expectancy of a person being Human Trafficked is 7 years.
During the summer months many of the food and clothing programs are not available. Hernando County does provided limited food programs which rotates at local parks for our homeless youth.
Suicide rates for the general population is approx 1.8%
Suicide rates for the LGB population is approx. 8%
Before their 20th Birthday, 50% Transgender youth will attempt suicide.