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To facilitate life-transitions of at-risk youth in the Fairbanks and greater Interior Alaska community.
Fairbanks Youth Advocates is dedicated to helping young people who face life’s crossroads and must make difficult decisions. Often these choices and options can expose young people to unsafe situations. In particular, when faced with conflict, violence or other difficult circumstances in the home, youth can feel that leaving home is their only answer...their only hope.
In recognizing that Fairbanks does not have a shelter specifically designed to meet the unique needs of youth seeking a safe place, Fairbanks Youth Advocates has decided to create one. "the Door", scheduled to open in 2013, will provide temporary shelter and meet the immediate basic needs of those seeking its safety.
Some say we are taking risks. Of course we are. How can we not? No child grows up dreaming that one day they will be homeless. No parent hopes that one day they will be disconnected from their child.
Reports show that unaccompanied homeless youth are at a higher risk for physical and sexual assault, physical illness including HIV/AIDS, and mental illness. Homeless youth are at a higher risk for anxiety disorders, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicide because of increased exposure to violence while living on their own. They are significantly less likely to graduate from high school, and significantly more likely to become pregnant, or to use or abuse substances. Overall, homeless youth are also likely to become involved in prostitution and to engage in other dangerous and illegal behaviors to sustain themselves.
Fairbanks Youth Advocates believes that providing assistance at critical times in the lives of young people is vital to their present and future well being, ultimately contributing to the stability and long term health of our community.
- Nicole Merriweather
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