teens

Life House's new expansion is a ten-bed teen emergency shelter called The Loft.

The lack of affordable housing in Duluth plus misinformation - or no information - about why kids end up on the streets means there is still a gap between the number of kids with nowhere to go every night in Duluth  (100 on average) and the number of beds available.

Lack of affordable housing ... and a lack of imagination?  Life House director Maude Dornfeld says most people "can't imagine not loving their kids."

Avenues for Homeless Youth

It depends on who you ask.

Some information says 18% of all homeless kids are LGBTQ; some information says it's upwards of 40%.

But one thing doesn't change: the rejection.

Avenues for Homeless Youth is pioneering a foster home program for LGBTQ teens that's becoming a national model - and it's not about charity; it's about solidarity.

Tanya Dawn/Flickr

Around 600 kids aged 14 to 21 find their way to Life House in Duluth in the course of a year. And contrary to what you might think, kids aren't homeless because they "don't want to follow rules at home."

Substance, domestic or sexual abuse at home forces many kids out on the streets or into "couch-hopping" with friends every year.

This week, KUMD takes a look at who is experiencing homelessness in the Northland. Who are they? Why don't they have homes? What are their options?