National studies indicate a surprisingly high rate of homelessness among adolescents.
- Estimate that between 5 and 7 percent (between 1 million and 1.5 million adolescents under the age of 18) experiences at least one episode of homelessness each year.
- Homeless youth and young adults are at risk for physical abuse, sexual exploitation, mental health disabilities, chemical or alcohol dependency, and death.
- Local nonprofit organizations lack the capacity to offer early intervention and prevention or residential stability to the majority of youth who need it.
- Federally funded programs serve a fraction of the nation's homeless youth population. 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.
The Center for Adolescent Health "Issues Briefs" series focuses on topics impacting the physical, social and psychological well-being of young people in our communities. The first in the series is "Uncounted and Discounted: Homeless Youth in Baltimore City," examining the causes of youth homelessness and posing strategies for reaching out to these dangerously at-risk youth.
Download a copy: www.jhsph.edu/adolescenthealth