Panel Discussion on Homeless Youth

Dominican University of California presents a panel discussion that will examine ways to end the cycle of despair, blame and homelessness amongst Marin County youth. The event is co-sponsored by Dominican's Service Learning Program and the Marin-based non-profit Ambassadors of Hope and Opportunity (AHO).

The event is being held in observation of National Runaway Prevention Month. According to the AHO, Marin County currently has more than 265 homeless young adults aged 18-25, which is a 40 percent increase from last year. These numbers do not include youth who cycle in and out of jail. AHO is the only non-profit addressing this issue in Marin County.

Three runaway and/or former homeless youth will speak about the fears and challenges of being homeless without a safety net of support. These speakers include:

Molly Kron, a former runaway homeless youth between the ages 14-17. Kron graduated from Dominican University in May.

James Hayes, who was orphaned as a child and grew up in residential placements, became homeless at 18. Now age 22, he is beginning to build a life with help from AHO.

Nigel, who at age 20 currently is homeless and in need of support and services. Nigel represents one of the 61 youth who have been referred to AHO since it's inception eight months ago.

Other speakers include Ethel Seiderman of Parent Services Project, Zara Babitzke, founder of AHO, and Don Moseman, a former at-risk youth who spent 33 years in prison and now serves as a mentor/elder for AHO youth.

The event will be held on Wednesday, November 9 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. in the Creekside Room, which is located on Dominican's campus at the intersection of Palm and Acacia avenues. Plenty of free parking is available in the parking lot at the intersection of Grand and Acacia avenues.

For more information, call Julia van der Ryn, service learning program coordinator, at 707-363-6899.