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One by One: Helping Our Young Runaways (Posted: Mar 26)
I love getting feedback from my readers. The majority of the comments and questions I receive on a daily basis usually are about my writing technique or my writing tips. Occasionally, I will get a response, as I did yesterday, asking me advice on ways to get involved with the youth homelessness problem we currently have in America. After reading my book ‘Wet Matches’, Whitney from Nebraska, informed me that she didn’t realize that America had such a growing human trafficking and homeless problem, especially among our teen population.

Currently, there are approximately 1.4 million runaway and homeless youth in America. This information isn’t widely known and normally goes unreported. Unfortunately, these homeless kids are commonly taken advantage of and sexually exploited by pimps, street hustlers, and strangers. It’s shocking to find out what some of these homeless teens would do for a bag of fries when they’re truly desperate and starving. Surviving on the streets isn’t easy, and ‘survival sex’ is a subject I addressed in my 2011 debut novel ‘Wet Matches’. Life around cheap motels and truck stops seem to be perpetuating human trafficking and sexual exploitation of those stuck in vulnerable situations. Teen runaways and homeless youth, especially those young people within the LGBTQ community are the most vulnerable and are prime targets for hustlers and those looking for easy prey.

Whitney from Nebraska was so compelled to reach out and take action after reading ‘Wet Matches’ that she asked for my advice and guidance. As I suggested and replied back to Whitney, contacting and volunteering with your local homeless shelter or soup kitchen is a great start to reaching out and helping these vulnerable young people all across America. One by one, little by little, together, we can impact the lives of our runaway, homeless youth…one by one. – Randolph Randy Camp

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