Runaway Homeless Youth provides services before kids are in the

Runaway Homeless Youth provides services before kids are in the system

LUBBOCK, Texas -

 

According to Lubbock Police, there has been a rise in juvenile crimes. Specifically, between the ages of 12 to 16.

It reported most of the teens are runaways or recruited by family or friends to commit crimes.

The Runaway Homeless Youth through Catholic Charities is a federally funded program and works with kids from ten to 17. 

"15 to 17 that's kind of our highest group whether they've left home on their own or been told to leave," Susan Morales, a case manager said.

"We handle basic needs first. Are you safe, are you sheltered, are you fed, can we help you there? Are you clothed, do you need transportation," she added.

The group of four then act as a sounding board for the kids.

"I'm not here to judge you I'm not here to make your choices for you but I am here to help guide you," Morales explained.

According to Morales, a lot of times arguments at home are in the heat of the moment. Parents say something and tell the kid to leave.

"But unfortunately there are some parents who think, 'Hey I'm done,'" she said. "But they don't realize that it is against the law you know. LPD will be called out and you can't just throw your kid out."

RHY works with Lubbock Police. Staffers will call and have an officer follow up on a kid's home. According to LPD, juveniles that are getting into crime are usually after drugs, guns and money.

"Just because you've committed to something doesn't mean you have to stay," Morales stressed. "You chose this and even if you're midway through your choice, you can say hey, and you can call us."

Morales said she sees more cases during the last six weeks of the school year.

The program also works with Safe Place. You can walk into any library, Citibus or United store and say, "I need a safe place" and a case worker will be called and pick you up.

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