Thursday, October 18, 2012

How Risky Are They?

As much as we hate to face it, our street youth are highly at risk?

Had i not answered Gods calling on my life, I too, would have ended up...well who knows!

There is never a day that goes by where I don't think about our youth and women at risk. My deepest desire is to travel the world making a difference and sharing my voice of healing with those who have given up or never had any faith to begin with. Every winter I get out into the cold and provide homeless men, women and youth with necessities to kepp them warm such as blankets, coats, hats, mits and socks. I do this because I know what it feels like to be left behind and if I can be that shining light in their dark days, then I jsut thank God for using me.

Street youth are predominantly homeless, or they live in highly unstable conditions. They come from different cultures and each have a different story but share characteristics that jeopardize their health and well-being. Street youth tend to engage in high-risk behaviours, such as unprotected sex with multiple partners or sex while under the influence of drugs, friends or alcohol.These behaviours obviously increase their risk of contracting and transmitting sexually diseases and infections.

STD's are more common in street youth than in general population youth. These youth report early initiation of sexual activity and frequent sexual activity. They also have many sex partners.
The average age at first sexual intercourse among street youth (both male and female) was 12 years, which is much lower than among youth in the general population (16 years).

Among female street youth, the average number of sexual interactions per week ranged from 3 with casual partners to 15 with paying partners. This is so disturbing. Among male street youth who reported recent sexual activity, the average number of sexual episodes weekly ranged from 5 with casual partners to 10 with paying partners. Statictically proven more then 95% of street youth are sexually active.

The social aspects of life on the street, specifically the unstable living conditions youth face, cannot be ignored. If each of us makes a difference, anything....I trust these conditions will improve. We can't sit back and just talk about this. If you know a youth in your neighbourhood, your child's friend, a neice or nephew...maybe someone in your church who may be at risk (they don't have to be homeless to be at-risk) then please stand up for that child and do something! As a mother, my heart cries for these children.

Providing the basic necessities of life, including affordable housing or shelter, and  Increased access to counselling / support may help street youth to address their drug use and addictions. You don't have to live in the slums / ghetto / or Ontario Housing to have access to this solution.
We have a voice, let's use it!

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