Last week a new report, Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America, the study covers youth homelessness in a range of settings.  Young people may survive by sleeping on the streets, in shelters, running away, being kicked out, and couch surfing. The report was conducted by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago and is the first in a series of Research-to-Impact briefs on understanding and addressing youth homelessness. The new information by Voices of Youth Count is also published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Overall, findings show one in 10 young adults ages 18-25, and at least one in 30 adolescents ages 13-17, experience some form of homelessness unaccompanied by a parent or guardian over the course of a year. The information was released with a series of initial recommendations and the group said that as a nation, we are missing opportunities to ensure that all young people can reach their full potential and contribute to stronger communities and economies across the country.  The group intends to develop better information and data to encourage and determine better strategy and policy to reduce homelessness in this vulnerable population.

The recommendations include:

  • Conduct national estimates of youth homelessness biennially
  • Fund housing interventions and services and prevention according to different needs
  • Encourage assessment and service delivery responsive to diversity
  • Build prevention efforts into systems where youth likely experience homelessness including child welfare, juvenile justice and education
  • Adapt housing needs for a youth population
  • Tailor some supports to address rural youth experiencing homelessness
  • Develop strategies to address those with a disproportionate risk of homelessness: pregnant and parenting teens, LGBT populations, African American and Hispanic youth and young people lacking high school diplomas