Help homeless teens in Wyoming by participating in the Unaccomanied Students Initiative (USI) statewide 5k.

The USI is a 501 c3 non-profit that helps provide a stable home for teens that live in a variety of unsafe, temporary situations including cars, parks, shelters, motels, and couch surfing.

The organization is a support system that allows youth to focus on obtaining their high school diploma or equivalent while teaching life skills, like resume writing, budgeting, goal setting, achievement, and personal advocating so that once they graduate they become productive members of society.

They have three active locations in Casper, Laramie, and Cheyenne. The 5K is being held in all three cities on Saturday, June 29 from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM.

Kolby Fedore
Kolby Fedore

In Casper it will start at Highland Park.

Registration is now open.

Program coordinator Brian Hoose says this is the first year they've organized a 5K. It is supposed to be their biggest fundraiser of the year.

"People don't really think of homeless youth, they think traditional homeless people are on the streets, and you don't usually see children. They're kind of a hidden population and this is a way for people to be aware that they are out there" Hoose told K2 Radio News.

USI has put together data with the help of the public school districts to better understand the issue of homeless youth in the Cowboy State:

2% of all Wyoming students enrolled in public school were identified as homeless.

1,703 public school students experienced homelessness over the course of the 2017-2018 school year.

4 in 10 extremely poor 6-17 year olds were identified as homeless in Wyoming.

81% of USI graduates had stable housing and a full time job or enrolled in school full time.

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