Researchers from Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago have released Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America, a summary of findings from their groundbreaking, multi-component study, Voices of Youth Count, on the extent and nature of youth homelessness in America.
Understanding the scope of youth homelessness is critical, as intervening in homelessness and building stability during adolescence will have a lifelong effect.
This nationally-representative study reveals that:
- 1 in 10 young adults ages 18-25, and at least 1 in 30 adolescents ages 13-17, experience some form of homelessness unaccompanied by a parent or guardian over the course of a year. This translates to 3.5 million young people ages 18-25 and 700,000 adolescent minors.
- The rates of prevalence of youth homelessness are almost identical in rural and urban communities. Youth homelessness affects all of our communities, whether urban, suburban, or rural, and involves a diversity of experiences.
- Marginalized youth - including African American, Hispanic, and LGBT youth - are more likely to be homeless.
While youth homelessness is a large and complex problem, the data points to solutions. For example:
- The diversity of experiences of youth who experience homelessness requires a range of prevention and intervention strategies and speaks to the importance of embedding lived experience.
- We must work to understand and address structural inequalities (racial and other) that contribute to homelessness.
The Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America research brief and one-page overview are available here. We will continue to share more about this research and its implications, from philanthropy's perspective, over the coming weeks and months.