There are an estimated 1.5 million homeless children and youths in the United States, and unfortunately it’s an issue that is often met with apathy and scorn rather than compassion. Square Enix will be collaborating with UK charity Centrepoint to raise awareness of teenage homelessness throughout the month of December as part of a new charity initiative.
When the issue of homelessness comes up, a lot of people take a rather callous attitude. The glut of anti-homeless policies that are adopted in cities and towns across America is staggering. From arrests and attacks on homeless encampments, to seemingly benign but still harmful disenfranchisement like spiked benches and other nonsense, a lot of Americans have demonstrated abject hatred for the homeless. Square Enix is teaming up with UK charity Centrepoint to help put a stop to this. The two organizations are teaming up following the release of Life is Strange 2, a story rife with commentary on homelessness, racism and other pressing issues.
Life is Strange 2 stars Sean and Daniel, two brothers on the run and homeless since the unfortunate death of their father at the hands of combination of bullying gone wrong and police incompetence. Throughout the course of the game, the two brothers encounter increasingly bizarre circumstances thanks to the younger brother’s special kinetic powers. It’s a story all about love, loss and struggle, and it’s a wonderful springboard for conversations about this issues it presents.
“When Square Enix approached us, and introduced us to Life is Strange 2, we were incredibly impressed by the game’s portrayal of homelessness among young people,” stated Paul Brocklehurst, head of helpline at Centrepoint. “Sean and Daniel find themselves made homeless at the beginning of the game. And though throughout the story they find places to stay, however, that doesn’t necessarily mean they have a home.”
This collaboration, and the goal of raising awareness, is something Square Enix has seemingly wanted for a long time. In addition to helping spread the message on social media, the company will also hold an “an awareness driving livestream with a selection of partner content creators” at an unannounced date in December.
“Life is Strange as a series has provided players with a glimpse into slices of life they may have never even considered, and has provided awareness of a great number of issues faced by young people in our society, creating some truly inspirational conversation among players,” explained Jon Brooke, co-director at Square Enix External Studios.
If you or someone you know has been affected by homelessness, you can call Centrepoint’s helpline on 0808 800 0661 or contact them online. To find out more about the charity’s new campaign, click here. If you’re in the USA, you can check the HUD website for details on housing assistance in your area.