Childhood Project Creates Revolutionary App

Website Helps Homeless Youth Find Safety

Right, Dan Pfarr  Executive Director from Bridge For Youth, Left, Deborah Loon of Avenues for Homeless Youth

Right, Dan Pfarr  Executive Director from Bridge For Youth,
Left, Deborah Loon of Avenues for Homeless Youth

You are 15-years-old and your abusive father has come home drunk, again. Instead of waiting for him to find some reason to beat you or worse, you head out into the night to find somewhere safer to sleep. Where will you go? Who can you trust? One of our projects, The Bridge for Youth, has been hard at work reaching these teens where they spend most of their time; on their cellphone. They, along with a team of non-profits, have created an app to help run-away and homeless youth find a safe place to stay.

The run-away scenario we have outlined above is more common than you think. Over 45,000 youth are currently homeless in the USA and an estimated 1.6 million children will run away every year. Of that 1.6 million, 1 in 3 will be approached by a pimp or trafficker within 48 hours of leaving home.

This is why Bridge for Youth’s new app, the Youth Services Network, is so critical. It’s a coordinated effort between a dozen agencies in Minneapolis area to target youth, ages 12-20 who need a place to stay, some food to eat, or someone to talk to.

“This puts the resources right in the hands of the youth who need it, as well as the social ­workers, anybody looking for a youth resource, in one solid format,” said Ali Kier, youth response center supervisor at The Bridge for Youth. “You’re not going from one web page to another or making multiple phone calls to see what is available at a time of crisis and it can keep things from escalating.”

This website is the type of scalable work which Childhood USA is sponsoring throughout the 50 states. By investing in organizations and campaigns that are looking to revolutionize and scale their work, we have found that we can have the greatest impact in the fight against child abuse and exploitation. 

Find out more at

Thomas Brande