Homeless teens in Rochester - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Homeless teens in Rochester

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- The number of homeless teenagers in Rochester continues to grow. Rochester school officials say in the past five years, the number of teens without permanent homes has grown from about 115 to nearly 300.

Sam Vo used to be homeless. Difficulties at home drove him to the streets where he spent years trying to survive. Like others, he might spend a night on a friend's couch, or in a tent in the woods. Sam also lived out of his car for the longest time, where brutal winter temps made his life miserable. 

Vo said many homeless teens in Rochester do what they can to blend in.  
"It's the reality you live in, and you don't question it," Vo said. "You try and live through it. But when you spend all your energy trying to get through the night and not get noticed, it's hard to take a step forward when you're just trying to get through."

But there is hope for local teenagers. And it might be found in Gage East, a facility the Rochester School District no longer uses. A Duluth group looking to purchase it is called Center City Housing. The project will include Gage East and new surrounding buildings that will provide permanent homes for teenagers and single parents. 

The school district is working on the sale this month. If all goes as planned, the Center should be open by 2016. 

Powered by Frankly