Almost 40 percent of homeless Americans are under the age of 18. Many of these young people leave home because of situations beyond their control.
DoSomething.org spoke with one teen, who we will refer to as Angela. She ran away from home but was able to get back on her feet because of the support from family members and friends.
What made you decide to run away from home?
I had a lot of family issues at home. I was always the type of kid who always just smiled no matter what the circumstances were. It just got to be too much for me at one point and I cracked.
Where would you go when you would run away from home? Did you have support from family or friends?
I ran away when I was 17 and I obviously could not live completely alone. [Other people] opened their homes to me. If it were not for my close friends, I have no idea how I would have gotten through such a tough time in my life.
What is the toughest part of running away from home?
The toughest part for me was the emotional roller coaster that I have been through. I suffered from long nights of crying.
What do you think about our Teens for Jeans drive, which helps homeless youth?
I think that charities and drives such as this is such a wonderful thing. Other teens may literally have nothing. So this gives them clothes on their back and let’s them know there are people out there who actually care about them.
Drop off your new or gently worn jeans at any Aéropostale store. Then tell us about it  for the chance to win scholarships, new jeans, and more.