Four Waterville Valley women will be spending the night outdoors in Manchester, NH on March 23. It will undoubtedly be cold. It could be snowing, raining, windy. It will be uncomfortable. So, why are they doing it?
Suzie Boulter, Birdie Britton, Betty Hanaway and Robin Aronson (aka WV SleepOut Skiers) are supporting Child and Family Services of New Hampshire. CFS is a private, nonprofit organization that works to advance the well-being of children and families through an array of social services – including homeless youth services.
The CFS SleepOut is an annual event that raises community consciousness about the youth homeless problem and raises funds to aid and advocate for these young people.
JOIN Suzie, Birdie, Robin and Betty and a number of other CFS supporters on Friday, March 23, at Stanton Plaza in downtown Manchester, NH.
The WV SleepOut ladies are fundraising here. Their goal is to raise $3,000. Please consider making a contribution. Or join them for the sleep out. At the very least, please help spread the word.
What does youth homelessness look like?
You can’t always tell. Kids with backpacks, walking down the street—could be any kid. Numbers show that a few thousand youth in New Hampshire experienced homelessness last year. Some are in school. Some have jobs. Some are escaping abusive or neglectful homes. Some have been rejected from their own families for being different. Some struggle with trauma or mental illness, and others still, with addiction. Some are hungry, cold, and scared. Some are taking desperate measures to survive. And most of them are flying under the radar of their own communities.
CFS offers an array of services for young people who are experiencing homelessness. The Street Outreach team puts boots on the ground and serves as a lifeline to at risk youth wherever they may be, offering two essential things: the basic elements to survive and the stuff with which to succeed. The Runaway & Homeless Youth Program provides crisis intervention and prevention in schools and the community, and can help youth resolve family conflict. At the Youth Resource Center, youth can access basic needs such as food, clothes, showers, and laundry, as well as life-changing services such as mental health counseling, substance misuse treatment, educational advocacy, job skills training, and more. The Transitional Living Program provides housing and support services to homeless youth as they advance toward independence and success.