United Way hosts discussion about local youth challenges

United Way hosts discussion about local youth challenges
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Community leaders from across the Tri-Cities came together Tuesday to discuss topics impacting children and youth in the area.

United Way hosted the Next Gen Tri-Cities event to tackle multiple issues. Some of those include poverty, homelessness, mental health, and youth suicide. The panelists hope to open the discussion to these issues and find solutions.

“You know many of us are blessed to live in a protective bubble, and we really care about our community, but we don’t know what we don’t know,” said LoAnn Ayers, President & CEO of United Way. “And as we open up this conversation, we hope that we will engage more people in finding their zone. Maybe it’s hunger, maybe it’s homelessness, maybe it’s mental and behavioral health where they can get more engaged to make a difference.”

Ayers said one of the biggest issues in our area is youth suicide.

“And what’s really striking is in so many different areas some of the metrics that we measure, children and youth are losing ground,” Ayers said. “So our job here today is to showcase what’s happening and what you can do.”

If you need help finding local services, call 211. You can also visit United Way’s website.

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