Personal reflection: Thomas Wrede on writing about homelessness

Tackling difficult subject matter isn’t easy for a professional reporter, let alone a teen testing the journalism waters while in high school.

SafeZone in St. Paul gives homeless youth the tools to succeed

As the sign reads, “SafeZone is a community.”


The stigma of homelessness is tough, but not insurmountable

For several young people experiencing personal setbacks, overcoming homelessness is not an impossible task.

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.

Aching for home

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.

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 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

Teens spend night in box on street to try and understand homeless youth

Teens think outside the box about homelessness by sleeping in one

At sundown on April 16, a chilly Friday night in Minneapolis, 13-year-old Qa’id Walter’s feelings on homelessness were rather lighthearted. “Homelessness doesn’t seem so bad,” he said. “It sounds kinda easy and ya know, maybe a little fun.”

Youth Squad volunteer Natalie Cherne interacts with visitors to the museum.

Teen volunteers at Children's Museum play and climb over barriers, physical and social

When a toddler started howling in front of Natalie Cherne, a Youth Squad leader at the Children’s Museum, she ran over to him and started making funny faces to cheer him up. It didn’t work.

September Your Turn -- essay highlights

Several of September’s essays contained illuminating points about what teenagers care about right now. We liked them so much that we put together a list of their quotes.

I want Barack Obama to open the border for three reasons. First, most of the Latinos want jobs. Second they want a life that Mexico can’t give us. Third, Latinos are not criminals; we just want a better life for our kids such as education, jobs, and things like that. — Luis Pacheco, 14, Harding High School

ThreeSixty reporter Paris Porter featured on MPR

In March, ThreeSixty writer Paris Porter wrote about his family’s move to St. Paul back in 1996 to escape the violence and poverty of Chicago’s South Side. This summer, Paris and Minnesota Public Radio producer Sasha Aslanian produced a powerful radio documentary about his family’s experience and the controversy the inflow of poor, black families from Chicago caused in Minnesota in the 1990s. Listen to the radio story and read his original story here.

Many low-income Americans feel their votes don't count

Lylian Davis stood outside her mobile home, squinted at the sun and considered the presidential election.

“Yeah, I’m going to vote. For whom, I’m undecided.” Among her neighbors in Landfall, a tiny St. Paul suburb of mobile homes where 1 in 5 of about 700 residents lives in poverty, Davis thinks she’s unusual.

“ ‘ Oh, my vote doesn’t count.’ That’s all I hear around here.” Davis said.

Nationwide, low-income Americans vote at much lower rate than wealthier citizens. According to a 1990 survey published by Harvard University Press, almost 9 out of 10 individuals in families with incomes over $75,000 reported voting in presidential elections while only half of those in families with incomes under $15,000 reported voting.

What is poverty? Views from North Minneapolis

Students from Kwanzaa Freedom School took video cameras to the streets of North Minneapolis and asked residents to describe poverty, how it differs from poverty in othe countries and how it affects teens specifically. Here’s what they heard.

Legislators look for ways to end poverty in Minnesota

Minnesota’s 9.2 percent poverty rate, which counts the number of peole without enough money to pay for basic needs, is lower than the nation’s 12.3 percent. But the rate is higher for Minnesota children and young adults. Eleven of every 100 Minnesotans younger than 18 live in poverty, as do 19 of every 100 Minnesotans between 18 and 24.

To determine what policies could end poverty in Minnesota by 2020, a legislative commission is now gathering information and ideas from Minnesotans at public meetings across the state. At the end of this year, the commission will bring its recommendations to the Minnesota Legislature.

To find out about the commission’s work, ThreeSixty reporter Alexandra Sifferlin with commission director Gregory Gray, who grew up poor in Minneapolis and formersly represented North Minneapolis in the legislature.

Finding the right path

I’m from Chicago, the south side, where me and my family struggled to keep a steady roof over our heads. My mom worked as a nursing assistant, and my dad wasn’t living with us but helped out as much as he could.

One thing that was consistent was the violence and crime rate. My mother often woke my older sister and me in the middle of the night, and we would all crawl to the bathroom where there were no windows because there were drive-by shootings.

Never too young to be homeless

{{“Never too young to be homeless”}} by Aimee Cote, Buffalo High School

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