SchoolHouse Connection hosted a webinar on Wednesday, June 22, 2023, titled “Homeless Youth at Risk: Lessons from the 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey.” This webinar focused on presenting the findings from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), which is administered by the Centers for Disease Control every two years. Jennifer Smith-Grant, Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, Centers for Disease Control provided a brief history and overview of the survey’s characteristics and then presented the most recent results.

The results from the 2021 YRBS emphasized the importance of identifying students experiencing homelessness, ensuring their access to education as mandated by federal law, and improving school-based health and mental health programs. The survey suggests that compared with students who were stably housed, students experiencing homelessness were more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors, substance use, suicide ideation and attempts, and to experience violence. YRBS has been beneficial so far for collecting data to assess and address obstacles faced by students experiencing homelessness and has shed light on the need for targeted interventions. More information is available on the SchoolHouse Connection website.

By Miyah Jones, Policy Intern