Whether escaping dysfunctional homes or aging out of the foster care system, many at-risk young people end up out on the streets… out of school …out of work, with few options for their future. Recently, the Family and Youth Services Bureau released data from surveys conducted with homeless youth aged 14-21, giving a stark picture of life for youth living on the streets in America:
51% of youth surveyed became homeless because they were asked to leave home,
24% were homeless because they couldn’t find a job, and
23% were homeless because of being physically abused or beaten.
According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. the 2013 homeless count released data from surveys conducted with homeless youth aged 14-21:
• Los Angeles County is home to nearly 9,500 unaccompanied homeless youth, most between the ages of 12-24.
• Los Angeles suffers from disproportionately high levels of youth homelessness when compared with the national average.
• The 2013 count for the San Fernando Valley uncovered a 64.8% increase in homelessness over 2011 and unaccompanied youth under the age of 18 increased by 48%
• Research from The Williams Institute at UCLA indicates that 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBT. LGBT youth are at higher risk of emotional distress and face greater psycho-social challenges compared to heterosexual teens.
Homeless youth are at higher risk for drug abuse, engaging in sex work, and incarceration. Moreover, Los Angeles suffers from disproportionately high levels of youth homelessness when compared with the national average.
Because trauma-informed service provision is a core component of service delivery, and because at-risk youth experience trauma in profound ways, we are confident that we are setting a new standard of care.
The Village Family Services provides much needed assistance to homeless youth throughout the year; however, launching the #NoYouthHomeless Campaign in the month of November during National Homeless Youth Awareness Month is an effort to bring local and national attention to the sad reality of those young adults living on the streets in America today.
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