At the age of 17, Gerain fled Jamaica when he was outed as gay and his father threatened to kill him; for 5 years, he’s engaged in survival sex to keep a roof over his head.
Yesmy ran away from home when her parents didn’t believe that she’d been sexually assaulted; staying with a boyfriend’s friend, she was pressured to pay bills by engaging in commercial sex work. She was 15 years old.
Yesmy and Gerain are just two of a growing number of young people who are coming to us with traumatic stories like these.
Many of us know that homelessness is a growing problem in New York City. What many of us don’t know is the drastic steps homeless young people often take to survive, or the dire consequences at stake for them.Thousands of children and teenagers are facing a bleak future if they’re left unsupported. That’s why The Door is more important than ever.
This year, we’ve implemented new resources for exploited youth as part of our Runaway and Homeless Youth program. These include a counselor with expertise at identifying warning signs and providing targeted support to traumatized, exploited youth. But we provide more. Assistance of every kind – health, mental health, housing, food and nutrition, education and employment – is available for free at The Door. This kind of comprehensive and integrated support all in one place means young people like Yesmy and Gerain can start on the path to healing in a safe and supportive environment.
We are in a struggle that we MUST win. Your gift today will help us save lives and give exploited youth the opportunity for a new start and a brighter future.
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