City Releases New Study About Outcomes of Youth Leaving Foster Care & Homeless Shelters

Youth leaving foster care more likely than youth exiting homeless shelters to access supportive and subsidized housing

As part of the City’s effort to preventing and ending youth homelessness and ensuring New York City is a place where all youth can prosper and thrive, regardless of their demographics or life experiences, the de Blasio Administration today released the report “A Typology of Transition Age Youth” a comprehensive study by the City’s Center for Innovation through Data Intelligence (CIDI) of 8,795 youth who left foster care or city shelters over a three-year period. This groundbreaking research used big data analytics to examine foster care, shelter, jail and hospital visits and youth characteristics to determine groups in which youth were more likely to fall into. The study also found that the system from which they exit (DYCD, DHS, or ACS) generally predict what services they will receive. Youth who exited from foster care, for example, were more likely to be in the housing groups and less likely to be in the homeless or jail groups. This information can be used to better design services and meet youth’s needs. The study, funded by the New York Community Trust (NYCT), was discussed today at a conference organized by CIDI in conjunction with Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH).

“For the first time, we are analyzing youth homelessness from a multi-agency and longitudinal perspective to determine what kind of groups they normally fall into,” said Maryanne Schretzman Executive Director, Office of the Mayor, Center for Innovation through Data Intelligence (CIDI). “Perhaps contrary to public perception, most of the young people who are served by foster care and homeless shelters do not seek social services after they leave those systems. For those who stay, these data will help us develop a coordinated assessment tool and target services to make sure we are orienting resources as best as possible.”

The report’s findings will help inform ongoing City initiatives, including the Interagency Homelessness Accountability Council (IHAC) and the new Youth Homelessness Taskforce, launched last month in partnership with the NYC Coalition on the Continuum of Care.

"We are grateful to Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYC Center for Innovation Through Data Intelligence (CIDI) for providing this timely and significant study of transition-age youth exiting homelessness, said Sr. Nancy Downing, Executive Director, Covenant House New York. “The study highlights the need for access to more permanent housing options particularly for youth leaving Runaway and Homeless Youth programs.  It also, offers valuable information to guide our work in identifying and providing effective resources, services and interventions to prevent and end youth homelessness."

The study discovered six main groups in which youth may fall into in the three years after they have left the foster care or homeless systems:

  1. Minimal Use Services. 68 percent of youth had minimal social service use – including, homeless, foster care, jail, hospital, subsidized housing (NYCHA and/or Section 8), and supportive housing.
  2. Later Homeless Experience. 8 percent entered either DYCD or DHS homeless shelters one to two years after leaving foster care or homeless systems.
  3. Earlier Homeless Experience. 8 percent entered either DYCD or DHS homeless shelters almost right away; stayed homeless for 1-2 years, but by the end of three years were no longer using many services.
  4. Consistent Subsidized Housing. 9 percent received NYCHA or Section 8 and stayed stably housed for most of the three years.
  5. Consistent Supportive Housing. 2 percent stayed in supportive housing consistently for most of the three years.
  6. Frequent Jail Stays. 5 percent of the youth were in jail multiple times and/or spent significant amount of time in jail during the three years after leaving foster care or homeless systems.

“Last year, CSH partnered with the City’s Center for Innovation through Data Intelligence (CIDI) to better understand transition age youth involved in different service systems, including those homeless and in need of assistance,” said Kristin Miller, Director of the CSH Metro Team. “One major milestone resulting from our work so far is the NYC 15/15 multi-year supportive housing commitment that envisions 1,500 new units of youth supportive housing. CIDI’s report, ‘A Typology of Transition-Age Youth,’ released today at an event hosted by CSH at the Deutsche Bank offices with support from NYCT, focuses on youth exiting homelessness or foster care and the comprehensive service-use profiles developed to ensure every young person who needs help gets the right housing and services quickly. CSH is excited to be a part of this work, which is effecting positive change for NYC’s young people.”

The “Typology of Transition Age Youth” study analyzed the data of all young individuals (a total of 8,795 people) who were 18 and 21 years old when they exited the DHS, DYCD shelters or ACS foster care system between July 2011 and the end of 2013. The report can be accessed at nyc.gov/cidi.


Media Contact: Robert Friant, robertfriant@csh.org, 212-986-2966, x245

About the New York Center for Innovation through Data Intelligence

Founded in 2011, the mission of the Center for Innovation through Data Intelligence (CIDI) is to conduct inter-agency research to identify areas of service need in the City of New York. CIDI collaborates with all Health and Human Service (HHS) agencies and other City partners to promote policy change that improves services for all New Yorkers. Visit us at nyc.gov/cidi for more information.

About CSH

CSH has been the national leader in supportive housing for over 25 years. We have worked in over 40 states and 300 communities to create homes for individuals and families – housing that has transformed the lives of 200,000 people who once lived in abject poverty, on our streets or in institutions. A nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), CSH has earned a reputation as a highly effective, financially stable organization, with strong partnerships across government, community organizations, foundations, and financial institutions. Through our financing resources and knowledge, CSH is advancing innovative solutions that use supportive housing as a platform for services to improve lives, maximize public resources, build healthy communities and break the cycle of intergenerational policy. Visit us at www.csh.org to learn more.

About New York Community Trust

The New York Community Trust is the community foundation for New York City, Westchester, and Long Island. Thanks to generous donors, the New York Community Trust distributes income from charitable funds to improve the quality of life in New York City and beyond. It is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the United States. The Trust is one of the largest private funders of New York City’s nonprofits. Its competitive grant making focuses on improving the lives of all New Yorkers, with an emphasis on promoting healthy lives, promising futures, and thriving communities. To learn more about The Trust, visit us at www.nycommunitytrust.org.

Copyright 2022 ©  by CSH. All Rights Reserved