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November is Youth Homelessness Awareness Month
Kate Hogan, MA
Health Educator   
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (2014), on a given night in January, 194,302 children and youth were homeless in the United States. Within North Carolina, it is estimated that 18,597 children experience homelessness every year, and in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools alone, 4,131 enrolled students were homeless during the 2013-2014 academic year. That's over 25 students in every elementary, middle, and high school. You might be surprised to know that only 40.7% of unaccompanied homeless children under the age of 18 stayed in a shelter in 2014, leaving the remaining 59.3% "couch surfing" or on the streets.
Homelessness is a complex experience that is interwoven with social, economic, political, educational, and health issues. What someone might consider a basic necessity - food, a bed, clean clothes, pencils for school - are a valuable resource often not available to youth experiencing homelessness. Accessing regular healthcare services for conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or a toothache can be problematic, resulting in higher rates of untreated physical health problems. Similarly, mental health concerns, including depression, behavioral problems, and substance abuse, are commonly observed, and exposure to trauma within unstable, unsafe, and often violent environments is a shared experience among homeless youth. Youth experiencing homelessness often have difficulty learning in the classroom and may fall behind their classmates more easily, translating later in life to employment challenges. Becoming homeless can disrupt important connections with social supports, and youth often evidence strained relationships with their peers, or are subject to feelings of social stigma and isolation. As we all know, these relationships become increasingly critical and influential throughout adolescence.
As we enter the holiday season this November, let's think creatively about ways to positively impact the critical issue of homelessness in Charlotte and across the country. What can we do as a community to prevent youth and their families from experiencing homelessness, and how can we provide youth who do become homeless the tools and resources they need? What can you do to help ensure that this January, every child and youth in our community is healthy, safe, and successful?
Parenting Teens with Love and Logic 
If you are affiliated with a school or faith-based organization that is interested in hosting one of our free parenting classes please visit our website for more information. Our Parenting Teens with Love and Logic class, based on a curriculum developed by Jim Fay, Charles Fay Ph.D., and Foster W. Cline M.D., gives parents practical skills that can be used immediately with adolescents. 
Welcome Pediatric Resident
The Department of Pediatrics at Carolinas Medical Center and Levine Children's Hospital offers a fully accredited 3 year pediatric medical resident training program.  Teen Health Connection is fortunate to serve as the adolescent-specific medical rotation for the residents.  This month, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Meghan Louque. Dr. Louque received her undergraduate degree from LSU and received her medical degree from LSU. She grew up in a huge family, her dad is one of 12 kids and her mom is one of 6 kids. 
Please forward our e-newsletter to your friends, sign up for our text messaging campaign, like us on  Facebook and visit our website to read about what we are doing each month. You can also follow us on Instagram at Teen Health Connection or on Twitter. Teen Health Connection appreciates our community partners and families.  We believe that together we can make a difference for adolescents in our community.  

It is through the support of our individual, community and corporate partners that Teen Health Connection empowers every adolescent to be healthy, safe and successful.


The Teen Health Connection Teen Advisory Board is working on a photovoice project which will allow the teens to express points of view by photographing scenes that highlight risk and protective factors for youth substance use. The photos will be displayed in a gallery at The Big Picture production in April 2016.
Mission Possible 
Watch below to see how the Teen Health Connection team is transforming lives.
Scholarship for High School Seniors 
Joseph Obeid, 2015 Johnston Ziegler Youth Scholarship Recipient
The Johnston Ziegler Youth Leadership Award is a merit-based scholarship that recognizes a local high-school senior who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, advocacy or service for adolescents. The selected youth will receive a $1,000 educational scholarship to the college or university of his or her choice. High School Seniors Apply Today.
Girls Educated & Motivated for Success 
The Girls Educated and Motivated for Success (GEMS) program allows girls to stay focused on school, build strong positive relationships and to make great friends.
Visit our website to learn more.
Teen Health Connection would like to thank the many volunteers, funders and community partners who dedicate their time and talent to this organization.  Because of the commitment from so many valued partners and friends, the team at Teen Health Connection can continue to empower every adolescent to be healthy, safe and successful.