homeless cause

November is National Homeless Awareness month, and a big part of raising awareness for homelessness is understanding the causes of it. Homelessness is something that affects people everywhere. According to the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), there are more than 610,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given night. The biggest factor that leads to homelessness is the loss of a job. The diagram shows the main factors of homelessness but there are other factors as well like lack of affordable housing, natural disasters and traumatic experiences.

So how do we fix the rising number of people becoming homeless? Since homelessness is defined as lack of housing the number one way to make a dent in ending homelessness is to offer housing solutions, such as affordable housing or long term shelter options. Once a person has a place to call home they will often have a sense of security and begin to be able to hold a job and begin to focus on other matters such as mental issues, substance problems, education and basic health care needs.

Housing however is not the only solution. Someone who faces homelessness will need access to services. A person needs access to health care, this includes basic health care needs, behavioral and mental health care as well. Transportation services to get a person to appointments and interviews is vital, along with transportation an important service that is often needed is affordable childcare.

An important key to ending homelessness besides available housing and access to services is creating human connections. It is far too easy for a person facing such a life altering experience like homelessness to feel lonely, depressed or even suicidal. Often when a person is not in the same living situation as another there is a separation of “us” and “them”. This is a flawed view we need to as a society focus on including and connecting one another versus separating those who are different. When community members come together it often leads to a positive change and more voices are often heard.

Putting an end to homelessness is not going to happen overnight, but with enough awareness, intervention and programs geared to preventing and helping people who face homelessness a change can be made!



Don’t be a Bully!

October is National Anti- Bullying month, it is a time to come together to prevent and stop bullying. Bullying affects everyone and is everywhere from places like school to shopping malls. Approximately ¼ of all high school aged kids have experienced being bullied because of their race, ethnicity, gender, religion, disability or sexual orientation.

There are easy types of bullying to recognize such as hitting or kicking but there are also less known forms of bullying and they are:

Verbal which uses language to hurt, embarrass, harass or intimidate others.

Social involves hurting another’s social standing by intimidating, controlling or harmful actions.

Physical uses physical force to harm another person by using one’s body such as their hands or feet to cause harm or control.

Cyber bullying is when someone uses technology to cause harm like verbal and social bullying but is done through a media source.

Trust your gut, if it looks like bullying it most likely is. The best way to stop bullying is to stand up and be a part of the solution vs. being a bystander.  Studies have shown that when another person intervenes, the bullying often stops because then the bully begins to feel their behavior is no longer accepted by those around them. All it takes is one person to speak up.

Prescription for Danger

Have you ever had an injury? Or maybe some kind of surgery?

If you have, you were likely prescribed pain pills to help during your recovery.

Those pain pills prescribed by doctors are called opioids. You’ve probably heard about that in the news a lot because it has become an epidemic problem.


You might wonder: how can something prescribed to help become such a problem?

Well, because people don’t always follow directions. And that can be dangerous, even deadly, when it comes to taking prescription pills that don’t belong to you OR taking them in a way your doctor didn’t recommend.

Taking these pills differently than prescribed can cause people to become addicted. Misusing the medication can create withdrawals. And that’s not pretty.

In fact, it’s really pretty horrible. Withdrawal symptoms could look something like this:

  • Restlessness
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Sleep problems
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Cold flashes with goosebumps
  • Involuntary leg movements

If you happen to be taking prescription medication now or in the future:

1.) Always take them only as prescribed by your doctor. If you forget or are unsure, you can find the directions on the bottle.

2.) Do not share your medication with anyone else. Your medication is prescribed to you based on your medical circumstances, body size and so on.

If you, or someone you know, needs help Youth Outreach is available. Stop by, or give us a call at 1.866.538.8023

Unless You’re Deadpool, Don’t Smoke

Smoking Cigarettes

Photo Courtesy of TobaccoTruth.org

Unless you’re Deadpool and can regenerate parts of your body, don’t smoke. If you do smoke and you realize you aren’t Deadpool, quit. If one of your friends said here, take this Cyanide: “It will probably kill you but it’s cool.” Would you do it? I will assume you probably would not. Do you smoke cigarettes? If you don’t, that’s great. Not only do cigarettes and e-cigs contain nicotine which most people know is highly addictive, but the smoke from cigarettes also contains Benzene, Arsenic and Cyanide. All of these have one thing in common: they are all poisons.  Cyanide is so toxic that in 1989 millions of imported fruit were banned after a small amount was found in just 2 grapes. Fact: There’s 33 times more Cyanide in a single cigarette than was found in both of those grapes.  You can read more about this at www.thetruth.com.Smoking can cause cancer and like Cyanide poison, kill you. Also, smoking is gross. It makes you and your clothes smell like a walking ashtray.

By the way, if you’re an Oregon teen reading this then you need to know buying cigarettes is illegal until your 21. If you or someone you know needs help, Youth Outreach is available. Stop by or give us a call at 1.866.538.8023.


Prescription Drugs


After marijuana and alcohol, prescription drugs are the most commonly misused substances by Americans age 14 and older. The three kinds of prescription drugs commonly abused are:

Opioids—used to relieve pain, such as Vicodin, OxyContin, or codeine

Depressants—used to relieve anxiety or help a person sleep, such as Valium or Xanax

Stimulants— used for treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), such as Adderall and Ritalin

All of these drugs are legal drugs that must be prescribed by a doctor. In order to receive a prescription for medicines a doctor spends time with the patient and has figured out what the best treatment is, which may include one of the medicines in the above categories. A doctor will gather your information and will prescribe the correct medicine based on your size and weight and whether or not the benefit of the medicine will outweigh the risk.

Every medicine has risks and side effects and that is why a doctor carefully looks at all options before suggesting a medication. When you take someone else’s medication that wasn’t meant for you, it can have bad consequences like addiction, overdoses, and even death.  Just because a medicine has been prescribed to someone, it doesn’t make it okay for you to take it.

If someone offers you a pill whether you know what it is or not, don’t take it. Just because a medicine is not against the law to use doesn’t mean it can’t be bad. If you are taking a medicine it doesn’t mean it is safe for a friend to take it too, so do not give someone else your medicine.

If you or someone you know needs help, Youth Outreach is available. Stop by or give us a call at 1.866.538.8023.