How Do Refugee Shelters Help Troubled Teens? (2023)

Teenagers who decide to run away from home need a safe place to live. They can also benefit from addressing the issues that lead to their decisions. Runaway youth shelter aims to help these teens by providing them with careHelp for parents and carersso that the teenagers can go home.

Between 1.6 and 2.8 million young people flee each year.If you are young and thinking about how to get away, it helps to know what a youth hostel is for, what it offers and how it can help. It can also be helpful if you are an adult and want to find a safe place for a young person who decides to run away from home.

A young man who decides to run away is not a "bad boy," but—whatever his unique reasons—feeling overwhelmedAnd it's stressful at home.Runaway teens come from all walks of life, from low to high income, and from all regions, both rural and urban.

What is a refuge for runaway youth?

Runaway Youth Shelter provides temporary accommodation, food and specialist counseling for runaway teens. They provide these young people with a safe place to live when they must face personal issues and fears.

Youth hostels also help families plan the next steps needed to deal with the situation they face.This is important because teens who try to run away (or run away) often do so because of family dynamics.

Family dynamics that may help a teen seek help at a teen shelter include:

  • conflict with family rules
  • Dealing with parents divorcing or getting caught up in a custody battle
  • death of a family member
  • Teen Parenting Issues
  • Problems with Mixed or Extended Family Members

Other common reasons young people run away from home include:abuseor ignored,mental health problemsQuestions with peers (egto be torturedor arguments with friends) and economic issues such as housing insecurity and poverty.

Data provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development shows an increase in asylum-seeking rates among some young people, includingtransgender youth(up 29%), young peopleGender inconsistent(up 26 percent) and Native American youth (up 21 percent).

What is a group home?

Services provided by shelters for fleeing young people

One of the potential goals of youth refugee shelters is family reunification. They can do this by identifying the problems the family is facing and then helping to resolve them. If it is not safe for teens to return home, refugee shelters can work with teens to find safer, more sustainable living conditions.

Youth camps provide a variety of services to achieve these goals, such as:

  • I offer temporary shelter and a safe place to stay
  • regular meals
  • Resources for professional, academic, medical and other needs

Youth hostels also often offer various types of therapy for runaway teens. These therapies can help relieve mental health symptoms (such asdepressed), while positively affecting unhealthy coping behaviors such as substance use.

The types of treatment a youth shelter can provide include:

  • One-on-one therapy can help your child figure out why they are running away
  • group therapywith other teens in a similar situation
  • family therapyFocus on solving problems faced by the whole family
  • Telephone counseling for teens who come forward

Youth shelters provide youth with a safe place to live while helping them deal with the reasons for fleeing and the consequences of their decisions.

adolescent therapy

How refugee shelters can help

When teens end up in a teen shelter, it can be a healthy decision to seek support and start working through the issues they're having. Youth shelters are set up and run by staff trained to understand, cooperate and support runaway youth.difficult family relationshipsand worrying situations.

Shelters can help youth in crisis by:

  • Find out what causes teens to run away from home
  • Identify next steps to deal with what your child is avoiding
  • act as an intermediary between the family and the teen
  • Develop a preliminary agreement outlining the "conditions" that the family and teen must abide by when they return home
  • Discuss alternative living situations for teens until family issues are resolved
  • provide referralsmental health therapistin the area
  • Provides information and access to resources to help your child deal with their problems at home and in person

If your child escapes to remote areas, the teen shelter might even offer him a free bus ticket so he can get home.

How to find youth hostels in your area

Teens can contact Safe Place for help finding local teen shelter locations. histxt helper 4Allows young people to text SAFE and their current location (address, city and state) to 44357 to connect to the Safe Place website.

Another option is to callNational Escape Safety LineCall 1-800-RUNAWAY any time of the day or night. In addition to phone calls, they offer contact via text message, email, and even live chat, giving you multiple ways to get in touch for assistance.

The Office of Families and Youth offers:interactive mapYou can use it to find teen shelters and street assistance programs in your state. You can also check online for a list of hostels in your area by searching for 'hostels near you'.

frequently asked questions

  • How old do you have to be to stay in a youth hostel?

    Generally, the upper age limit for youth hostels is 17. Young people who decide to leave home after turning 18 can go to a local transitional shelter or homeless shelter. These other shelters are designed to address the issues adults face when they are homeless, allowing them to better serve the needs of young people.

  • Are youth hostels safe?

    Although data on the safety of teen shelters is lacking, studies have shown that teens living in shelters are at lower risk of physical or sexual violence than teens who sleep rough.

  • How can I find youth hostels in my area?

    Text 'safe' and provide your location to 4HELP (44357) and you will receive a message with the nearest Safe Place Youth Shelter. You can also call the National Runaway Safety Line at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929) to request a referral to your nearest youth shelter. Alternatively, you can search online for "hostels near you" to find hostels not listed by other organizations.

8 sources

Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed research, to support the facts in our articles. read ourediting processLearn more about how we fact-check and ensure our content is accurate, reliable and trustworthy.

  1. Home and Teen Office.Central Planning Basic Situation Table

  2. U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs.The invisible faces of runaway and homeless youth

  3. National escape safety line.portrait of a fugitive

  4. National escape safety line.2020 overview

  5. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.HUD Releases Part 1 of 2021 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report

  6. no DPsychological interventions for runaway and homeless youthJ Nursing Scholarship。 2018;50(5):465-472。 doi:10.1111/jnu.12402

  7. National Domestic Violence Resource Center.Staff skills improvement

  8. Taylor KA, Schmitz RM.Child Abuse, Mental Health, and Sleep in Homeless Adolescents: Links to Street Physical and Sexual VictimizationChildren and Youth Services Center。 2018;95:327-333。 doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.11.018

go throughCatherine Rudlin, LCSW
Kathyrn Rudlin, LCSW, California author and therapist, specializes in counseling and educating adolescents whose mothers are emotionally detached.

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