Local scholars program hosts bag drive for homeless youth

SALISBURY, Md. – It’s the season of giving, and students in Salisbury University’s Presidential Citizens Scholars program hope the community will have that same giving spirit for local youth at-risk of homelessness.

They’re hosting a soft-sided bag drive. The lightweight bags will be given to youth ages 17-24 that don’t have a permanent place to call home, who travel with their belongings.

It’s just one of the scholar’s projects, as their overall goal is to provide more resources for young adults experiencing homelessness.

The scholars are currently engaging in research that also shows local LGBTQ+ youth are disproportionately impacted by homelessness.

The program, along with other community groups, attempted to conduct a youth count to get an accurate number of homeless youth on Delmarva. We’re told a current number isn’t available due to various reasons.

Scholars we spoke with say those donations will provide them with something they can call their own. “It kind of dehumanizes them in a way with them having to move place to place and not having something tangible that looks good and so that they can move in a respectable manner,” Scholar Jaydan Fango said.

“It’s to give them something that they can walk around with and feel like they’re traveling and look like anybody else who’s traveling.”

“By doing these soft-sided bags, we can maximize the number of bags we can store ourselves because we can condense them and stack them much easier to get as many bags as possible to youth,” Scholar Ryan Devine said.

There are various drop-off locations, including the Wicomico County Sarbanes Branch, who’s accepting donations now. There will also be sites on campus that will accept drops off starting next week. Those collected bags will then be distributed to Fenix Youth Project.

Categories: Health, Local News, Maryland, Money