Homeless Youth

HUD reported that at least 23,000 unaccompanied youth accessed emergency shelter or transitional housing in 2009. But homeless youth are particularly hard to quantify because they are less likely to use shelters than adults (partly because there are few designated shelter beds for youth and partly because some youth avoid using shelters). Still researchers have estimated that between 5-7.7% of youth experience homelessness, each year. For many, homelessness is a temporary situation - but a small group live permanently on the streets.

Many youth experiencing homelessness have run away from home or institutional care or are “throwaways” who have been locked out or abandoned by their parents or guardians. There is often good reason for youth to stay away from home – studies of homeless youth report high rates of sexual and physical abuse, as well as situations marked by neglect, alcoholism, addictions and disapproval of their sexual identity. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth are disproportionately represented among the homeless youth population. Some youth become homeless upon being emancipated from foster care, the juvenile corrections system or other institutional care, at (or near) age 18. Youth “aging out” of foster care are at high risk for entering homelessness.

CSH knows that, for those homeless youth (ages 18 – 24) who face the most significant challenges, supportive housing may be the intervention needed to end their homelessness. We offer information and guidance around effective models of supportive housing for homeless and at-risk youth to ensure that they receive decent, safe, affordable rental housing, along with access to flexible supportive services that can help them begin to heal from past traumas, create community connections and learn the skills that they will need to live stable, independent lives.

See CSH's Youth Resources





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