Welcome to Piperbetsy's SleepOut Page
The Wheeling SleepOut is a way to raise awareness and money to address the problem of runaway and homeless youth in the Ohio Valley. The money raised goes to support the youth ages 17-21 in the Youth Services System Transitional Living Program.
Since I started working at Youth Services System last fall, I have learned about some of the circumstances these youth find themselves in through no fault of their own. They turned 18 and their foster parents said, "You're on your own." Their parents are abusive, addicted or absent. They have no support network because their family is from another city or state. Their parents are unsupportive of who they are or their life choices and kicked them out of the house.
The youth in the McCrary Center in Wheeling have their own apartments where they have to pay about $500 a month for rent and utilities. They also have some common areas they share, including a rec room and a large kitchen. At the Tuel Center in New Martinsville, the youth have their own bedrooms and share the rest of the house. We have additional youth who receive support from us while living in apartments in the community.
I have seen the YSS employees who work in our Transitional Living Program become like family to these young people. They lift them up, teach them, advise them, support them so they can stand on their own two feet. They help them with the FAFSA. They teach them how to study. They teach them how to cook. They help them find jobs. They provide parenting skills, financial education, and so much more. The youth support each other, as well.
Without the TLP, these kids would likely be couch surfing, if they're lucky. More likely they would be homeless or be forced into some dangerous and difficult situations in order to keep a roof over their heads.
The program also serves youth living in apartments on their own in the community by helping them with first months' rent and deposit, utilities, groceries and moral support.
Can you help me reach my goal of raising $500 for this ever-growing group of kids who are all but invisible in our community? I can promise you your donation will make a big difference.
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