Rare Breed Youth Services

Homelessness and Our Youth
Danisha Hogue / KSMU

The Springfield area has a high count of youth experiencing homelessness, with 70 percent of homeless youth between the ages of 17-18. It was among the statistics discussed Thursday before roughly 50 people at the Springfield Art Museum.

According to the 2016 Homeless and at risk Survey Report, the majority of homeless youth are white and identify the city as their home town.

A showing of Hillcrest High School’s 2013 documentary Homelessness in the Heartland set the tone for Thursday evening’s post-video discussion.

Rare Breed
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With the holiday giving season now over, it’s easy for people to resume their normal routine and put thoughts of charitable giving behind them. But thanks to a grant gifted by the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, three agencies are giving back to the area’s homeless youth.

CASA of Southwest Missouri, the Victim Center, and Rare breed were gifted a grant of $30,000 earlier this month to work with homeless youth who have been victims of crime. The collaboration is set to begin on Monday.

Beth Atchison is the executive director of the local CASA branch.

KSMU News

November 6th marks the 7th annual ‘Sleep Out’ event put on by The Kitchen Inc. to benefit Rare Breed Youth Services. The event, hosted by the Wesley United Methodist Church, hopes to raise money and awareness for local homeless youths. Families and people of all ages are welcome to join and participate in games, movies, and a cardboard house building competition says Jacque Harness, special event coordinator at The Kitchen.

Thomas McFarland

Where do you go when you are still in high school and homeless? For many local teens the answer is the Rare Breed Drop-in Center in downtown Springfield. For Lecerius Hall, this was a shelter from a step dad who was involved in illegal substances and abused his mother. Rare Breed offered a place to “cool off and have someone to talk to about problems at home.”

Many teens in the Ozarks have had to resort to shelters and transitional homes like Rare Breed to avoid living on the streets and to find a support system that will believe in them.

Photo courtesy of the Rare Breed

The average age of homeless youth in Springfield is 17.  To raise funds and bring awareness for the hundreds of these individuals living on the streets, Rare Breed will host the annual Sleepout event with the goal of “Sleeping outside so kids don’t have to.”  KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann has more.

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