‘Somebodies’ Placed Throughout Cuyahoga County

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Colorful mannequins with no faces represent homeless teens around Cuyahoga County.

It's a new campaign by Bellefaire called "Take a Closer Look at Youth Homelessness".

The child welfare agency wants to show people who homeless teens should not be ignored.

"The campaign is to increase awareness and we are hoping the community will have a greater sense of empathy and compassion for homeless and missing youth in Cuyahoga county,” said Karen McHenry, director for homeless youth programs at Bellefaire.

About 50 mannequins will be placed all over Cuyahoga County for the 30-day awareness campaign.

Bellefaire is calling the mannequins "Somebodies," and each one of them will be wearing hooded sweatshirts with a slogan on it that says why they are homeless.

"Some of them for example, I'm gay, my dad kicked me out because I'm gay. Sexual orientation is a reason kids get thrown out on the streets. One of the other things says my mom's boyfriend hurts me so we know that. Abuse pays a huge issue on why kids get thrown out on the street,” said McHenry.

On Wednesday, people at Tower City in Cleveland couldn't help but stop and look at the hooded mannequins. They say this campaign is vital to keeping teens safer.

"There are kids out there that are homeless and grow to be adults and homeless and somewhere dead, ya know, so it's a good thing that they are bringing this to awareness to us to the people so we'll be aware and we can put in and help as well,” said Antoinette Gray from Cleveland.

"The fact is that if you have children that are afraid to go home, they need to looked into, they need to be taken care of or offered opportunities for children that don't wanna be there for other reasons,” said Bill Hammond, of Painesville.

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