The Relatives Family Update
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Do you have a “run away from home” story? When I was 12 years old, I ran away from home. As an animal lover I was upset with my father’s decision to go rabbit hunting and went on a personal strike. I ran all the way to my best friend’s house, stayed until dinner, and then went home. I was fortunate. My home life was safe, supportive, and loving. Most runaways, though, cannot find safety, stability, or love in their homes.
It’s difficult to hear, but youth runaway or become homeless every single day in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community. Without a safe place to call home, this often hidden population is the most vulnerable to homelessness, victimization, sex, and labor trafficking.
This is why your support of The Relatives makes such a positive difference in the lives of youth and young adults. You ensure youth in crisis have a safe place of refuge when they feel as though there’s nowhere else to turn. I am deeply appreciative of your generosity, which allows The Relatives to provide relief, acceptance, and empowerment to runaway and homeless youth.
Through your support, The Relatives has provided wrap-around services to young people in crisis since 1974. We run Mecklenburg County’s sole emergency shelter for youth and adolescents. For young adults aging out of the foster care system, we offer housing options and a supportive pathway towards independence. And, any young person can access walk-in counseling and on-site mental health care at The Relatives.
November is National Runaway Prevention Month. Your generosity helps The Relatives shine a light on this vulnerable population, which too often remains invisible.
Thank you for being a Relative.
National Runaway Prevention Month:
Did you notice the skyline was lit up green on November 16th? The Greenlight Project spreads awareness for National Runaway Prevention month and shines a light on runaway and homeless youth.
Recently a trio of siblings came to The Relatives Youth Crisis Center. The girls, ages 8, 12, and 14 were facing homelessness after running away from an abusive situation at home. The young ladies were able to find relief at The Relatives thanks to the Safe Place program. The girls knew their local QuikTrip was a designated Safe Place. Safe Place locations extend the doors of our Youth Crisis Center creating a safety net for youth.
The Safe Place program is one of many ways you help The Relatives to Shine a Light for homeless and runaway youth.
If you know a youth in crisis, please contact a crisis counselor at 704-377-0602.
Thanks to you, inspiring stories happen everyday at The Relatives. People Magazine has chosen to highlight one of the stories your support makes possible. Dontae is a young man who came to The Relatives after aging out of the foster care system.
You can learn more about Dontae’s journey towards relief, acceptance, and empowerment here.
Holiday Giving at The Relatives:
As the holiday season approaches, there are multiple ways you can be a Relative to youth and young adults in crisis.
Sleeping bags are needed to keep our houseless young adults warm in the cold winter months. Young mothers who are studying for their GEDs while working to support their babies are in need of diapers. Warm clothes such as joggers, sweatshirts, and socks are always appreciated.
If you would like to provide warmth and comfort for a youth in crisis, then please visit our Amazon Needs List.