Homelessness is when you have nowhere to live. This is different than running away. Runaways have homes but have left them or are seriously thinking about it. Runaways haven’t always planned ahead. They often decide to runaway suddenly without having money or warm clothes packed up. They also have no plan for where they’ll go or who they’ll contact.
Feeling like you need to run away can be very scary and overwhelming. You can call National Runaway Switchboard at 1-800-RUN-AWAY or call us at 1-855-201-2121 to talk anytime.
Running away doesn’t magically fix your problems. You might be able to get away from tough things that are going on. But you will face more problems trying to live on the streets. Before you think about running away, try to talk with a friend about it or an adult you trust, like a parent, family member, teacher, or social worker. They can help you understand what you’re facing and maybe come up with a better option.
We at 1-855-201-2121 can help you, too, especially if you’re worried people in your life won’t listen. We can talk to you about what’s wrong and find a way to solve it. We’re ready to talk with you 24/7. It’s free to call, even from your cell phone. We’ll just work with you to figure out what to do and keep you safe.
It’s important to encourage runaways to find help for themselves. Give them the number for the National Runaway Switchboard at 1-800-RUN-AWAY or call us at 1-855-201-2121.
If you know a runaway who is missing, contact the police as soon as possible.
National Runaway Switchboard
California Coalition for Youth
Children of the Night
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network
Stand Up for Kids
National Safe Place
National Coalition for the Homeless
National Center on Family Homelessness
The National Network for Youth
Homeless Children’s Network