In Their Own Words: Fort Worth Homeless Youth Speak for Themselves


In Fort Worth, Texas, we visited both ACH Child and Family Services and DRC Solutions to meet and speak with homeless youth for Youth Count Texas!. At DRC Solutions, which is a day shelter for the homeless in Fort Worth, youth voiced both feelings of frustration and determination. They have faced a great deal of hardship, most of which was outside of their control, and they want to improve their lives through education, employment, and rehabilitative services. The youth we talked with were sometimes afraid that things would not improve and they wouldn’t get a second chance, but they saw adults older than them experiencing homelessness and as a result were resolute in not wanting to get “stuck” on that path themselves. ACHand DRC Solutions offer a second chance to youth through the provision of housing options and other programs. Youth expressed a need for services specifically geared toward their age group – including help finding employment, paying for college tuition, and having affordable, longer-term rehabilitative services. Below are photos of some of the youth we met and quotes from their interviews. Such firsthand information is crucial in making effective policy recommendations and ensuring that funding is available to meet youths’ needs.


Amanda, 22
“Being homeless is not a place you want to be. On the streets, people take advantage of you. You’re lonely and scared. You can’t trust anyone.”



Shawn, 20
“I just want a second chance to better myself. Sometimes things happen to people in life, and they get stuck. It scares me to think I might get stuck. I want to work, but it’s hard when you have barriers like not having an email address or phone. I don’t think things should just be given to people, but I wish there were more opportunities.”


Buddy, 19
“I want to finish high school. I want to do anything that involves working with my hands, like doing construction or working in a kitchen. I wish there were more services and shelters that were specifically for younger people. You can tell which people don’t want to be here by their sad faces.”



Julia, 19
“It feels very weird and lonely to be homeless. I’m in AP classes, in the National Honor Society, and I’m a straight A student. I’m smart, and I want to have a future too.”

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