Youth Homelessness In Ohio Continues To Rise

Ohio’s homeless students struggle for stability

Survival as a homeless youth in Ohio is a daily fight, and trying to keep up with schoolwork while dealing with the trauma and stress of shelter life can be nearly impossible. The number of homeless youth in Ohio has more than doubled since 2005, and is continuing to grow on a daily basis. Here at Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio, we’ve made it our mission to reverse that trend by providing excellent programs and services to homeless children in Greater Ohio.

The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) estimates that there were close to 12,000 homeless students in 2006. In 2011, that number rose to an estimated 22,000. However, these numbers can be notoriously tough to pin down. A 2012 article by State Impact—a reporting project of public media and NPR—reported on the difficulty of tracking homeless students.

“For example,” it read, “Warren City Schools has the fifth highest poverty rate in the state, but lists only one student as homeless. That’s because the district does not count doubled up students as homeless.” Doubled up students are those living with friends or family.

The ODE defines homeless students as those awaiting foster care; living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations; living at night in public or private space not designed as regular sleeping accommodations; or migratory children who qualify as homeless.

Volunteers of America programs bring hope

At Volunteers of America, we offer programs committed to encouraging positive development of our youth and their families. Our services include prevention, early intervention, crisis intervention and long-term services. These invaluable programs provide supportive living and learning environments for our youths’ development and education.

The Volunteers of America family shelter system in Columbus is one of the most advanced in the nation. Our family services program places families in an apartment of their own within 10 days of entering emergency shelter. Our permanent supportive housing provides affordable housing for families with a disability as well as services to help families maintain their home. Our goal is to offer families stable housing with the opportunity to move into independent housing and obtain meaningful employment.

In addition, the Volunteers of America Youth Education Center provides after-school and summer-enrichment programs for the children in our housing program. Our Youth Education Center stands out because every child involved is either currently homeless or has been homeless in the recent past. It offers a place for students to go after school and during the summer, which gives them a safe environment, while also improving their academic progress, social growth and emotional development.

How to donate your vehicle to Volunteers of America

How can you make a difference in the lives of the youth we serve? By donating your car, truck, motorcycle, boat or RV to Volunteers of America, you are giving children a chance at a new life. Every car donation is tax-deductible—you could even receive more money for your automobile as a charitable donation than you would by selling it on the market. And we’ll take nearly anything with a motor, even if it hasn’t run in years.

Donating your car is easy. Start with filling out our online form or calling (800) 225-0732. We’ll even tow your donated vehicle for free the same day. When you donate your car or truck to Volunteers of America, you are directly helping families and children of Ohio.