Okay, it’s time to spill the beans on what I’ve been working on the past 6 weeks…
I’m starting a podcast called Someone Like You and every week I’ll be interviewing a young person who’s experiencing life-changing opportunities thanks to a nonprofit.
At the 30,000 foot perspective, the podcast is about starting a conversation to address the epidemic of youth homelessness across America and specifically within Orange County, California.
I live here and hear the bias’ people perpetuate on a semi-regular basis. It’s important to understand no child asks to be homeless, and that the leading causes of youth homelessness include abandonment, mental health issues, and abuse.
Children don’t get to pick their parents and nobody makes you take a test before becoming one.
Per a report conducted by Covenant House on a single night in January 2016, there were over 35,000 unaccompanied kids out on the streets, and 89 percent of those 35K were between the ages 18 and 24, the remaining 11 percent were under the age of 18.
This isn’t okay.
Two years ago I participated in Covenant House California’s Sleep Out fundraiser, a national movement made up of individuals who commit to spending one night out on the streets while raising money that goes directly to getting kids off the streets, and ever since that ONE night I won’t stop trying to get the word out.
You can read about my first experience out on the streets of Los Angeles, here.
I didn’t understand. I grew up in NYC and was taught to not make eye-contact, never give anyone free money, and that a bum wanted to be on the streets or was probably there for a quick buck or addicted to drugs.
The common thread I learned that night at Covenant House was that nobody asked or deserved to be homeless. Instead, I realized it was easier to digest if they had ‘done something’ to be there because it made them less human, and didn’t affect me as much if there was a reason they were on the streets.
Almost 10 years ago I was almost homeless and about to be living out of my car with my dog before a friend stepped in and let me stay on her couch for a month while my financials got back in order.
I have never felt so shitty or like a huge whopping failure in my whole life. This podcast will hopefully work my way out of a job because I don’t want youth homelessness to be a thing. We’re all a few missed paychecks away from facing the same situation.
Let’s get to the root of the problem. Nobody deserves to be homeless. So join me as I put a face to these nonprofits working hard to provide free primary health care, legal assistance, education and job training programs for people who need help getting off the streets.
What if the kid who can cure cancer is out there now, sleeping on the streets, and just needs a little love and helping hand to put him back on track to saving the world.
Keep a lookout for Someone Like You podcast, nothing like it has been done so join me in changing the world one podcast at a time. I’ll be sure to update when the first few episodes are live!