Officials with Louisville’s Coalition for the Homeless are taking steps to address what they call an alarming trend – an increase in the number of homeless young adults.
Coalition Executive Director Natalie Harris says that last year, a total of 555 people in the 18-24 age group stayed in emergency shelters, and many young people in crisis say they’ve had no help with decisions like school and how to obtain food, clothing and housing.
The coalition and more than two-dozen partner agencies have begun a campaign to raise money and recruit mentors for homeless youth. Harris says many of those in crisis have grown up without the guidance of a caring adult.
Mayor Greg Fischer is asking the public to get behind the newly-formed coalition.
“Strong cities are those cities that are able to look wide-eyed at everybody and say ‘okay, maybe you need a little help.’ Weak cities, cities that have no backbone, are those that want to look the other way," says Fischer.
One of the group’s new initiatives is a YMCA drop-in center where homeless youth can get access to various resources.