The Hope for Youth family services organization opened an emergency youth shelter on Tuesday morning in Suffolk County to help address the growing number of runaway and homeless children on Long Island. According to the state’s Office of Children and Family Services, there are over 2,400 runaway and homeless children on Long Island, with most of them from Suffolk. For the past 2 years, the only shelter serving all of Long Island’s homeless children has been a 12-bed shelter called Nassau Haven.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone was on hand to cut the ribbon and offered these words.
“This first shelter is important… it is going to help kids in crisis, young people who are the responsibility of us all, to stabilize and hopefully deal with the issues that led them out of there homes in the first place… This home represents our effort as a community to say, ‘We take responsibility for our young people and we’re going to work to address the issues… not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s the smart thing to do.’” Bellone further added, “If you take a look at the home and you go inside, it really is a home. It really feels like a home for these kids.”
Read the full press release here.