Half of our youth population (17.6 million kids to be exact) is considered to be “at-risk” or “high-risk.” At-risk youth have the potential to get into trouble, while high-risk youth already experience difficulties. All of these children are in great need of our support.
Nearly one million children are abused, neglected or abandoned each year in the U.S. Around 17 child abuse cases occur per day in Los Angeles County. These kids are usually shuttled from one foster family or institution to another, with the average foster youth experiencing 15-20 different placements by the time they turn 18. Many of these kids end up permanently homeless or imprisoned for the rest of their lives — if they survive.
Around 12,000 runaway youth from all over the world live on the streets of L.A, which is also the “Homeless Capital of the U.S.” with around 25,000 homeless children. This information was researched before the current economic recession, so the numbers have skyrocketed.
We’re also the “Gang Capital of the World,” with 93,000 gang members active in 1,200 gangs. L.A. has the highest juvenile incarceration rate (20,000 youth) in the entire country, with a recidivism rate of about 85 percent.
LAUSD schools have a 33% dropout rate and 35% of these students suffer from worse Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder than war vets.
These are America’s children and they need our help!
All of these kids struggle with feelings of hurt, distrust, anger and despair. Yet it’s been proven that youth involved in creative arts projects show reduced signs of violence and recidivism, have longer concentration spans, greater self-esteem and are better able to communicate without resorting to violence. Create Now programs provide these necessary opportunities for the most troubled youth.