If You See Them: Young, Unhoused, And Alone In America - Hardcover

If You See Them: Young, Unhoused, And Alone In America

Sokolik, Vicki

They hide in plain sight. They survive on free school breakfasts and lunches, join school sports teams in order to shower, sleep on friends’ couches, in parks, or on the streets. Their official designation is “unaccompanied homeless youth”—they are not "runaways" breaking free from strict parenting; these are kids seeking safety. They have escaped abusive parents, have been abandoned, or have never had a home to begin with.

When Vicki Sokolik’s son brought home a classmate who was living on her own and was dropping out of school to support herself, Vicki stepped in to help. As she learned more about the invisible population of young people navigating life alone, she discovered the countless ways they are overlooked and impeded by the system. She founded a nonprofit and worked to change legislation in her home state of Florida to give these kids agency over their lives.

If You See Them wakes us up to the issue of youth homelessness in America, through Sokolik’s own story of advocacy and through the voices of the kids themselves. Her grassroots action demonstrates the world-shifting power of compassion, acceptance, belonging, and self-determination, and the capacity each of us has to change our communities for the better