The District's only shelter that provides emergency housing for runaway and homeless youth under 18 is being forced to furlough many of its employees.
Deborah Shore, the founder of Sasha Bruce Youthwork, says 46 full-time staff will be furloughed because federal funds that were due Oct. 1 aren't being paid out.
"It is hard enough that the federal government does not deem services for runaway and homeless youth as essential," Shore said in a press release. "But [what's] worse is that our essential local dollars are being frozen as the cold weather approaches. There is no doubt that if this situation were to continue, more youth be living outside, unprotected."
The shelter will continue its programs that house youth with no place to go, but outreach programs aimed at providing food, clothing, after-school programming and AIDS testing will be cut.
More than 1,500 youth receive help from the Capitol Hill shelter every year.
In the meantime, other shelters are reaching out to help homeless youth. Young people who are in a crisis situation can reach out to Covenant House Washington by calling 1-800-RUNAWAY.