Where Oahu's troubled teens turnUPDATED 7:20 PM HST Feb 17, 2014Video Transcript
For nearly 25 years, it is a place where Oahu's troubled teens have turned. KITV4's Paul Drewes goes to "YO" to see how it helps Hawaii's runaways. It's our top story tonight at 6-30. 9-15 28-35 134-140 In busy Waikiki, under the shadow of highrises, a small cottage offers troubled teens a temporary sanctuary from life on the streets. 5:47 "what YO is about is meeting your basic needs, food, clothing hygiene supplies" Hundreds of teens use the youth outreach services known as "YO". 18:50 "They're a drastic help, they're the main reason why I'm alive" Mia Santiago first came to Hawaii in 2011. 16:11-16:18 "They sent me out here to reunite me and my mom. It was just really rough so i gave up on it right away and just ran away." nat of doing laundry She eventually ran to Waikiki, with nothing more than the clothes on her back and now lives in a Kapahulu park. 21:50 "its tough, its mentally stressing 24/7" The YO house isn't a homeless shelter, instead it is place for youth to hang out, away from the stress and harassment Teens can wash their clothes, grab something to eat and get help with a state ID or even a GED. nat @33:32 "we're actually going to read about the Oregon trail today" Many troubled youths refuse traditional homeless services, and don't even identify as homeless -- even though they are in the same situation themselves. 6:12-6:30 "many of them are the oppositional defiant youth, that have crashed and burned and failed at home, school and been through the various programs. they still need that social belonging and we try to be that stable consistent adult presence in their lives." tape#2 standup@36:34- 36:43 "These small building provide more than just a safe place for a few hours, for some it also provides an important step in getting off the streets." 13:37 "we want to reconnect you to something. be that bridge off the streets" Mia says she isn't ready for that -- yet. She hopes to one day become a chef and with YO's support is taking steps in that direction. 20:20-20:29 "any time i need them i can call them. I can ask can you help me or what's your advice. So in the future I see myself making it somewhere" In Waikiki, Paul Drewes KITV 4 news. In addition to the youth outreach house being open three afternoons a week, YO staff also go out 5 nights a week -- to reach runaways with food and services -- where they live on the streets of Waikiki.