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Adam McCormick, MSSW, PhD Assistant Professor of Social Work St. Ambrose University Quad Cities Homeless Youth Needs Assessment.

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Presentation on theme: "Adam McCormick, MSSW, PhD Assistant Professor of Social Work St. Ambrose University Quad Cities Homeless Youth Needs Assessment."— Presentation transcript:

1 Adam McCormick, MSSW, PhD Assistant Professor of Social Work St. Ambrose University Quad Cities Homeless Youth Needs Assessment

2 Project Partners Scott County Housing Council Community Foundation of the Great River Bend Catholic Charities St. Ambrose University MSW Students (Roberta Gates and Melissa Housinga)

3 Participants At risk youth ages social service agencies in the QC area 16 focus groups Mean age % identified as LGBT 62% currently enrolled in school 28% history of foster care 53% history of involvement with juvenile courts

4 Youth Homelessness 53% of youth reported being homeless at least one night in their lifetime Of those who have experienced homelessness 60% reported being homeless for less than 3 months. Of those who have experienced homelessness 14% reported experiencing homelessness more than 5 times in their lives The average age of first homeless experience was % of youth reported that it had been more than 4 months since they last had stable housing

5 Homelessness and Education 67% of all youth surveyed reported current school enrollment. 49% of youth who reported experiencing homelessness at some point were currently enrolled. As school attendance decreases rates of homelessness increase (p=.02) Participants who reported experience of homelessness were nearly twice as likely to have been placed in an alternative school setting (Odds Ratio=1.8)

6 Sexual Orientation and Homelessness LGBT youth were significantly more likely to have experienced at least one night of homelessness (odds ratio=2.3) LGBT youth were significantly more likely to have relied on a friend, relative, or stranger for residence (odds ratio=3.3)

7 Rankings of Greatest Challenges 1. Family Problems 2. Mental Illness (Depression and Anxiety) 3. Transportation 4. Avoiding Violence 5. Finding a Safe Place to Sleep

8 Qualitative Themes Family Problems Abuse and Neglect Homelessness The Perfect Program

9 Family Problems Lack of acceptance “ My mom just couldn’t take who I had become and we both agreed that we just couldn’t live together.” Poor communication with parents Lack of availability of parents Youth assuming the parental role for younger siblings Youth being parented by older siblings “For as long as I can remember I have been more of a parent to my little sister than my mom ever was.”

10 Abuse and Neglect Many youth suggested that abuse and neglect were major factors in leaving home “My parents verbally abused me until I couldn’t take it anymore and I moved into the shelter.” “My dad got so mad at me that he would grab me by my throat. One time he completely choked me out until I could barely breath.”

11 Homelessness Assistance in finding stable housing was consistently cited as a barrier. “I’ve been homeless many times. I’ve called many different places and most times never got a call back to help me find a place to stay.” Defining Homelessness “I wouldn’t say that I’ve been homeless but I was on the run for like a year… staying with friends and friends of friends.”

12 The Perfect Program Acceptance “It has to be a place where you take me as I am. Just let me be.” “You don’t want to stay in a place that is so uptight or judged that you can’t feel comfortable.” Safety “A program has to offer protection… We have to know that we’re always going to be safe.” Someone to Talk To


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