Content Type

Topic Categories

Date Range

Infographics

Homeless Youth: A Vulnerable Population


4.2 million

youth and young people experience homelessness every year

About this Data Insights

Each year, an estimated 4.2 million youth and young adults experience homelessness in the United States. Every night, thousands of young people experience homelessness without a parent or guardian - going to sleep without the support and stability of a family or a home. Among homeless youth, 40% identify as LGBTQ and they have more than twice the risk of being homeless than their heterosexual peers.

This infographic explores youth homelessness, risk factors for becoming homeless, the health toll associated with being homeless, and what can be done to address this crisis.

Call 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733). The mission of the National Runaway Switchboard is to help keep America's runaway and homeless youth safe and off the streets.

Citations
Show Details Hide Details

What Is the State of Youth Homelessness in the US?

4.2 million youth experience homelessness every year: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago - Voices of Youth Count, Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America - National Estimates, November 2017

Homeless youth on a single night in January
: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, The 2020 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, January 2021

NOTE: Unaccompanied Homeless Youth: are people in households with only children who are not part of a family with children or accompanied by their parent or guardian during their episode of homelessness

Over half of homeless youth are unsheltered: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago - Voices of Youth Count, Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America - National Estimates, November 2017

NOTE: Unsheltered Homelessness refers to people whose primary nighttime location is a public or private place not designated for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for people

Experiencing homelessness for the first time: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, The 2020 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, January 2021

1 in 30 youth experience homelessness in a given year: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago - Voices of Youth Count, Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America - National Estimates, November 2017

African Americans and indigenous people are overrepresented: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, The 2020 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, January 2021

Why Are Youth Experiencing Homelessness?

Family conflict the major reason for being homeless: Congressional Research Service, Runaway and Homeless Youth: Demographics and Programs, April 26, 2018

Reasons for family conflict: Congressional Research Service, Runaway and Homeless Youth: Demographics and Programs, April 26, 2018

LGBTQ young people are 120% more likely to experience homelessness
: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago - Voices of Youth Count, Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America - National Estimates, November 2017

Up to 40% of homeless youth identifies as LGBTQ: True Colors United, Serving Our Youth: Service Provider Survey & Report, June 2015

Families react similarly across racial/ethnic groups: Merighi JR, Grimes MD. Coming Out to Families in a Multicultural Context. Families in Society. 2000;81(1):32-41

Primary reasons for LGBTQ homelessness: True Colors United, Serving Our Youth: Service Provider Survey & Report, June 2015

What Is the Health Toll of Being Homeless?

Lifetime prevalence of psychiatric disorders: Edidin, J. P., Ganim, Z., Hunter, S. J., & Karnik, N. S. (2012). The Mental and Physical Health of Homeless Youth: A Literature Review. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 43(3), 354–375. November 2011

Homeless youth higher health risks: SAMSHA, Current Statistics on the Prevalence and Characteristics of People Experiencing Homelessness in the United States, July 2011

Higher rates of HIV: Logan JL, Frye A, Pursell HO, Anderson-Nathe M, Scholl JE, Korthuis PT. Correlates of HIV risk behaviors among homeless and unstably housed young adults. Public Health Rep. 2013;128(3):153-160. doi:10.1177/003335491312800305

Life expectancy of people experiencing homelessness: National Health Care for the Homeless Council, Homelessness & Health: What’s the Connection?, February 2019

Homelessness & health connection: National Health Care for the Homeless Council, data from Health Center Patient Survey (HCPS) 2009 shared in the Homelessness & Health: What’s the Connection? report, February 2019

Reunifying families: National Alliance to End Homelessness, Youth and Young Adults, April 2021

What Are Some Strategies To Combat Youth Homelessness?

Family Acceptance Project: Family acceptance project

Existing systems can help prevent youth homelessness: Raikes Foundation

Ensuring access to shelters and lowering barriers to housing: Raikes Foundation

Ensuring providers are equipped and trained to help LGBTQ homeless youth: True Colors United


More Related Articles