The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released its 2018 Homeless Assessment Report Monday. According to the report, after years of decline, homelessness in the United States edged up in 2018 for the second year in a row. Locally, the City of Atlanta reports a decline in homelessness — but the number of veterans and families sleeping on the streets, rather than in shelters, is up.

Youth homelessness is also increasing, says Eric Wright, professor and chair of sociology at Georgia State University. As a medical sociologist, he has spoken with hundreds of homeless youth over the past several years. Wright joined "On Second Thought" in studio with their stories. Tammy Joyner, a reporter for the Center for Sustainable Journalism at Kennesaw State University, also joined the conversation. She's been around the Southeast reporting on youth homelessness for the Center's new series on homelessness and juvenile justice.

 "On Second Thought" for Monday, Dec. 17, 2018

The Atlanta theater company, Found Stages, is launching a new play with a twist: it reaches the audience through just text messages. Playwright Neeley Gossett and artistic director Nichole Palmietto hope to use the medium to engage with their audience. The play is a first-person story called, “The Year Without Summer.”  

Participants can join the story starting Monday, December 17.  After they sign up, they’ll receive several text messages from the characters for 30 days. The story will unfold in real-time, and subscribers will get more information each day. Click here for more information about “The Year Without Summer.”

Macon artist Charvis Harrell explained how he uses his craft to offer a more diverse and inclusive view of history. 

Jason Reynolds didn't get through a whole book until he was 17. He's now a bestselling author, and he's trying to change the way young people feel about reading. Inspired by hip-hop, Reynolds now writes books to get young people to excited about reading. He has various awards to his name, including an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work for Youth/Teen and a National Book Award finalist designation for his book "Ghost."