The United States Department of Justice estimates that 1.7 million teenagers experience homelessness every year. Youth experiencing homelessness often rely on maladaptive coping behaviors such as self-harm and alcohol and drug abuse, are at higher risk of suicide and being victims of physical and sexual violence than their non-homeless peers. Creating safe spaces and effective interventions with this population can be challenging, thus organizations must be adaptive and resourceful with their approaches to intervention. Studies indicate that creativity can strengthen resiliency in this population by boosting self-esteem and encouraging positive coping skills. This innovative Senior Capstone project will propose a three-pronged intervention for youth struggling with housing instability and homelessness that will increase job readiness skills, resilience, and emotional well-being through theatrical job training and performances, mental health care, and mentoring.
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