Every November, the National Runaway Safeline (NRS) raises awareness of the challenges of runaway and homeless youth and their families and seeks to educate the public about how to reduce this risk through National Runaway Prevention Month (NRPM).
Each year, an estimated 4.2 million youth and young adults experience homelessness, of which 700,000 are unaccompanied. Runaways and homelessness are inextricably linked, as homeless youth are often runaways as well. NRS’s mission is to keep runaways safe and off the street. To serve these young people, the organization provides free, non-directive, nonjudgmental support by trained professionals via phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In the Aloha State alone, the Big Island has about 400 to 500 runaway cases a year while O’ahu has as many as 2,000 each year. Kaua‘i has about 200 a year.
Here on O’ahu, the office of Mayor Rick Blangiardi of the City and County of Honolulu issued a proclamation in support of NRPM.
Last year, NRS launched the “Let’s Talk” podcast during NRPM, which featured interviews with youth who have lived experience, partners who serve youth who have run away or who have experienced homelessness, representatives from local governments, and more. This year, NRS will again release new weekly podcast episodes throughout the month. For more information, go to: 1800RUNAWAY.org/podcast.
To learn more about runaway and homeless youth, go to www.1800runaway.org.