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Unaccompanied Homeless Youth. What defines a homeless youth? “Homeless youth are typically defined as unaccompanied youth ages 12 to 24 years who do not.

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Presentation on theme: "Unaccompanied Homeless Youth. What defines a homeless youth? “Homeless youth are typically defined as unaccompanied youth ages 12 to 24 years who do not."— Presentation transcript:

1 Unaccompanied Homeless Youth

2 What defines a homeless youth? “Homeless youth are typically defined as unaccompanied youth ages 12 to 24 years who do not have familial support, and who lack a regular night-time residence. Homeless youth live in shelters, on the streets, in a range of places not meant for human habitation (e.g. cars, abandoned buildings), or in others’ homes for short periods under circumstances that make the situation highly unstable (so-called “couch surfing” or “highly mobile youth”)”

3 4-Categories 1.Runaway: youth who have left home without parental permission (physical abuse, neglect, alcohol abuse) 2.Throwaways: youth who were forced to leave their homes by parents (abandonment) 3. Institutional youth: youth who have an extensive history in foster care, group home, institutions 4. Street youth: youth who have spent some time living on the streets, most chronic

4 Characteristics Sexual Orientation –3-10 % Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual (1993 survey) Race / Ethnicity –Survey found “no differences”, proportional to racial make-up of community –Some studies have over-represented statistics Age –Majority 13 or older Gender –Males generally more likely Street youth: males Shelters: even or more females

5 Statistics 5-7% of teenagers experience at least one episode of homelessness each year (1-1.5 million) 20,000 – 25,000 transition out of foster care each year, 25% experience homelessness within yrs 2005 survey indicated 79% of homeless youth attended school

6 Hidden Youth: The Life and Times

7 $$$ Funding $$$ Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHA) –$130 million –Served over 500,000 youth in 2005 –Funds NWYS transitional housing program American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (2009) $70 million for identification, enrollment, attendance, and school success –$1.5 billion for HPRP for various housing needs/programs –$50 million for YouthBuild activities –$70 million for identification, enrollment, attendance, and school success Chaffee Foster Care Independence Program –If all funds were used for housing, each youth/young adult would receive about $800/yr

8 $$$ Funding $$$ In 2007, federally funded programs made over 700,000 contacts with youth through street outreach programs but served 47,400 (less than 10 percent) with shelter and housing –Congressional Research Service –Small fraction

9 Policy State and local educational agencies must provide students experiencing homelessness with school access and stability, and remove barriers to their attendance and success. –Enroll without parent permission –Liaison –Subtitle VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act A recent federal law eliminated the barrier for unaccompanied youth applying for aid for the school year and future years. –Independent student status –College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007

10 Policy… Runaway youth can receive: –Supplemental Security Income (SSI) –Food Stamps (EBT) –TANF Is it against the law to runaway from home? –Yes, in Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming –Mandatory Reporting to Social Service Agency

11 Issues / Needs Runaway / Homeless youth have issues trusting adults and therefore don’t seek services Difficult to measure effectiveness of intervention strategies w/out facing ethical dilemmas Increased funds for housing –While the average cost of foster care, in-patient treatment, or juvenile correction placements average between $25,000 and $55,000 per year, the average cost of a transitional living program housing unit for youth is approximately $11,800.

12 References Levinson, D., & Ross, M. (Eds.). (2007). Homelessness handbook. Great Barrington, MA: Berkshire Publishing Group. Hombs, M. E. (2001). American homelessness (3 rd ed.). Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, Inc. Jorgensen, J. (2010, March 8). Telephone interview. Wayman, R. A. H., & Modglin, T. (2009). American recovery and reinvestment act: homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing program. National alliance to end homelessness. Retrieved from Monjazeb, A. (Producer). (2009). Hidden youth: the life and times [video clip]. Available from Foscarinis, M. (2004). Legal tools to end youth homelessness. National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. Retrieved from th%20Homelessness1.pdf

13 NWYS What services do you provide? 2 housing programs, transitional living, , emancipated 16-17, NWYS signs lease Permanent housing – homeless youth works with a case manager How are you funded? Federal rhy – transitional Whatcom homeless service center – permanent


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