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Homeless teens find allies in NJ Legislature

4-11-14

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A handful of New Jersey legislators will be sleeping out on the Statehouse lawn to call attention to the plight of homeless teenagers.

Friday night’s legislative sleep out is a fundraiser for Covenant House, a leading provider of services for homeless, runaway and trafficked children in New Jersey, nationally and internationally.

Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, a Republican from Monmouth County, says she got involved because of the life-changing work of Covenant House.

The organization is run by New Jersey’s onetime child advocate, Kevin Ryan.

Another sleep out participant, Assemblywoman Celeste Riley, a Democrat representing Cumberland County, notes that not all homeless youth are runaways. She says many become homeless because of poverty, parental unemployment or sexual or physical abuse at home.