INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 2, 2014) -- Officers picked up a 12-year-old boy over the weekend who told them he'd been homeless for a week.
An IMPD police report revealed that the child had been found behind a home on the east side. He told officers his father kicked him out and he'd been homeless for seven days. He was taken to Community East hospital and then turned over to Child Protective Services (CPS).
"This is a scenario we've seen many times," Courtney Modisette with Stopover, Inc. said.
The non-profit houses kids 12 to 17 in its emergency shelter and older kids in a transitional shelter. Modisette said she often hears stories of kids either kicked out or who run away ending up living outdoors.
"A lot of times they end up in the streets, sleeping in parks or under bridges," Modisette said.
Allexus Norman, 21, lives in Stopover's transitional housing. She left home at 18 and was couch surfing, another common scenario for homeless youth.
"You just get tired of being homeless or you get tired of (thinking), 'Where am I going to lay my head tonight?'" Norman said.
For Norman and Modisette, this child's story is a chance to let people know that child homelessness is more prevalent than they think and that there are resources available to kids and families. This year, Indiana schools reported more than 3,000 homeless kids in their halls.
"It’s very important for the community to ... save these children before its too late and they end up in a situation where they’re abused," Modisette said.
"To any young person out there that’s in my shoes or that’s on the verge of being homeless, I’ll say just cry out for help. Don’t ever feel like you have to be alone," Norman said.
For more information about Stopover, click here.