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Holidays can be stressful for homeless kids

Cyn, Rebecca, Shanika, Nicole
Ozone House website
Cyn, Rebecca, Shanika, Nicole

The holidays often highlight family and special meals. But those can be delicate issues for some people, including homeless kids.  Pam Cornell-Allen is Associate Director of Ozone House, a non-profit that helps homeless youth in Washtenaw County. She says the holidays focus on a sense of family, and that can be a tender subject for homeless kids.

“Part of the reason they are homeless is because of a family conflict. Or home might not even be a safe place. So they may not be spending holiday time with their family, and as a result they can feel lonely and depressed.”

Cornell-Allen also says cold weather can add another layer of stress. Many homeless kids spend lots of time outside or in poorly-heated houses and can’t afford extra clothing.

Ozone House has seen a rise in demand for its counseling services in recent months. Their crisis line has been getting more calls in general. Many of those calls are from young people contemplating suicide. 


Kyle Norris is from Michigan and spent ten years as a host and reporter with Michigan Radio, the state’s largest NPR-affiliate. He lives in Seattle and works as a substitute host and producer at KNKX.
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