Former homeless teen advocates for homeless youth

 "We feel like youth homelessness is on the rise in Elkhart. It's a huge problem."

That's what John Shafer says after the death of 16 year old Devin Borkowski in March. The situation shed light on this growing problem because homeless teens don't have anywhere safe to go.

"Advocating for that we are talking to whoever wants to help us. Our main goal is to help the youth stay safe."

Homeless teens and young adults  are camping out all over the city, like in supermarket parking lots, on Jackson Road.

We didn't actually see any homeless people staying in the parking lots while shooting but one former homeless man did tell ABC 57 News that he knows people that stay there every night.

That young man, Vance Travers, says he slept on a bench every night for three months.

"It was horrible. It was like nobody cared about you. Not being able to go back and not having your own place to lay your head, you don't have your own money to spend, you have to worry about when you're eating your next meal. Its not a good feeling."

Fortunately for Vance, a Walmart employee helped him get the help he needed to transform his life. But not everyone is that lucky.

John Shafer told us, "most of them, except for Vance, really have not made enough effort to get their life back on track. Vance has. A lot of these youth that are out there need someone not only to give them a safe place to live but some guidance and direction." 
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