Payne County Youth Services is recognizing National Runaway Prevention month with a candlelight vigil 7 p.m. Wednesday at the corner of 12th and Western in Stillwater.

We don’t always think about the problems we can’t visualize, but homelessness among young people is very real.

According to data collected by PCYS, one in 10 young adults between the ages of 18 and 25, and at least one in 30 adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17 experience some form of homelessness over the course of a year. They may be coach surfing, sleeping on the streets, or staying in shelters.

There are currently nearly 2,000 homeless youth in Oklahoma according to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness.

“This effort is designed to raise awareness of the issues faced by runaway and homeless youth and educate Payne County residents about strategies that help prevent youth from running away from home,” according to the PCYS press release. “National Runaway Prevention Month brings to light the issues runaway and homeless youth face every day and highlights the resources available to support youth in crisis. Resources such as the National Runaway Safeline’s 24-hour hotline and online crisis services, plus counseling services, shelters, food pantries, employment training programs, and more can make a measurable difference to youth who are considering running away as well as those living on the streets.”

For more information on Wednesday’s event, and to request a green light bulb, call 405-377-3380.

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