Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano, joined with members of the Nassau County Department of Human Services, the Family and Children’s Association (FCA) and the Long Island Crisis Center, at the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building in Mineola on Thursday, November 11th to proclaim November Runaway Prevention Month in Nassau. The dome of the Theodore Roosevelt Building was lit green, in an effort to raise awareness on the issue of teenage runaways.“I’d like to thank everyone from the Family and Children’s Association and the Long Island Crisis Center for joining us here as we proclaim November Runaway Prevention Month here in Nassau County,” said County Executive Mangano. “Statistics show that more than 4,000 youths run away from home, are thrown out, or pushed out of their homes each year in Nassau County. That’s why it’s important that we, not only raise awareness of this crisis and of the issues that young people face, but also to educate the public on solutions for ending youth homelessness.”
In October 2002, President Bush hosted the landmark White House Conference on Exploited and Runaway Children where leaders across the nation convened to discuss the challenges related to runaway youth that our nation must face today. What once was known as National Runaway Prevention Week was expanded into a month long prevention and awareness campaign observed in November.
The national initiative includes a “Greenlight Campaign,” whereby individuals and organizations can show support and awareness of runaway youth issues by installing a green light bulb. The Nassau County Office of Youth Services will be distributing green light bulbs and wrist bands to community members, businesses and at Runaway Training Events and Open Houses.
For information on teenage runaway prevention initiatives, please contact: Keith Gerber, Coordinator of Runaway/Homeless Youth Services, at (516) 227-7127. To access emergency shelter, contact Family & Children's Association's Nassau Haven at (516) 221-1310 or for 24/7 assistance call the Long Island Crisis Center's Runaway Hotline at (516) 679-1111.
Pictured above from left to right, are: Linda Leonard, MS Executive Director of the Long Island Crisis Center; Al Soto, Street Outreach Supervisor, FCA; Donna Teichner, Assistant Vice President of Preventative Services, FCA; William Best, Director of Residential Youth Services, FCA; Dr. James Dolan, Acting Commissioner of the Department of Human Services; Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, President and CEO, FCA; Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano; Keith Gerber, LMSW, Coordinator for Runaway and Homeless Youth Services, Nassau County’s Office of Youth Services; Andrea Kerr, MA Program Coordinator, FCA; Margaret Doherty, Senior Case Manager, FCA; Jordan Nacht, Nassau Haven Program Coordinator, FCA; Marc Fernandez, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, FCA; Margaret Christy, Discharge Disposition, FCA; and Theresa Buhse, Associate Executive Director, Long Island Crisis Center.