Aching for home

Illustration by Ruby Thompson,
a senior at Avalon School in St. Paul.

When we think of a homeless person, we often think of adults living under a bridge. The hard truth is that a homeless person could be sitting next to you in class.

In this package of stories, ThreeSixty reporters bring you stories about the more than 2,000 teens estimated to be homeless on any given night in Minnesota.

Reporter Vang Thao writes about living in a shelter for months after her family lost its home to foreclosure. Grace Pastoor reports on the challenges faced by teens who turn 18 and must leave foster care without any family support. Asma Adam reports on one suburban church that started a food shelf just for teens after neighboring schools reported that the number of homeless students more than doubled between 2007 and 2011.

Vang and her siblings slept on bunk beds at the shelter.

Being homeless is scary, but it made me stronger

Long before we moved into Mary’s Place, a shelter in Minneapolis, in January 2011, my family and I knew that we were going to lose our house in St. Paul.

ThreeSixty reporter Grace Pastoor

At 18, teens “age out” of foster care with no family to help

When a teen in foster care turns 18, the government support they receive while a minor ends. They often have minimal or no family support as they become adults. This means they must leave their foster or group home and provide for themselves.

No Hassles Food Shelf

Feeding Teens

In August, Brooklyn Mosaic United Methodist Church opened a food shelf just for homeless teenagers after area schools reported a large increase in homeless students.

No Hassles Food shelf is just one of many places teens can turn to for help.

Places to find help for homeless teens

If you’re a homeless teen, or know someone who’s in need of help with anything from health care to school work to a hot meal, here are some places to find it