This website is not being maintained and will be discontinued in November 2017. For Runaway and Homeless Youth information, content can be used for informational purposes or you can contact the National Clearinghouse for Homeless Youth and Families at 301-828-1324. For Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention information, visit the Teen Pregnancy Exchange. For Family Violence Prevention and Services information, visit the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence.
The National Runaway Safeline serves as the Family and Youth Services Bureau's federally mandated national communication system for runaway and homeless youth. The Chicago organization offers a crisis hotline and online services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to youth at risk of running away, those who have run away or are homeless, and their families. Runaway Reality, a regular feature on the National Runaway Safeline's blog, highlights the stories of young people and families who contact the hotline. This recent installment is about Ahmed*, an 18-year-old who contacted NRS using their online chat service. Here's an excerpt:
Ahmed was having a difficult night. Earlier that day, his grandma had talked to him about coming home late from school. Ahmed wasn’t having it and things quickly escalated. His grandma accused Ahmed of not caring about the family or his future. Ahmed had gone outside and didn’t come home for a few hours.
“I just needed to get away,” he wrote. “Things were getting ugly and I didn’t want to hear it again.”
Ahmed connected to Blake, the frontline team member in our crisis call and online connection center, because he wanted to vent. Blake made sure to give Ahmed space to share everything he was feeling. This kind of fight happened all the time and Ahmed was exhausted. His grandma just couldn’t get over that Ahmed wasn’t a child anymore – the pressure was getting more overwhelming by the day.
“I don’t even know when it started, but things just have gotten so bad – I just want to leave. How can she treat me like this? I mean, I don’t come home after school because I don’t want to see her.”