MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Every year, organizations like Youth Villages help Mid-South children and families dealing with issues like homelessness, and 2018 was no different for the nonprofit.
It's a sad reality for children and young adults nationwide.
All across the country, organizations like Youth Villages are working to end homelessness.
"Wondering where they’re going to lay their head or where they’re going to get their next meal from,” said Dr. Angel Gooden with Youth Villages.
Gooden said youth are often the victims of homelessness because of drug abuse, unstable homes and financial hardship.
"They may run away from home or it might be a situation where parents aren’t able to take care of them, so they leave home and they’re homeless and I think at that point they don’t necessarily have the tools they need to survive,” Gooden said.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness said in the state of Tennessee, more than 8,000 people are homeless on a given night. In Memphis and Shelby County on any given night, 1,426 people are homeless.
"A lot of the way the economy is set up and I think the opioid crisis is causing a bit more homelessness with the children,” Gooden said.
Gooden said resources and support can end this “revolving door.” She said it’s a cycle of being homeless, breaking the law, being released, and going back to an unstable environment.
“We’re looking forward to expanding services,” Gooden said. “Getting more children off of the streets and into safer places where they can get the help that they need.”
Youth Villages offers foster care services, and safe shelters. To learn more, visit their website.