Homeless Youth Today

Youth Homelessness is a National Crisis

Youth become homeless for a variety of reasons. Many are escaping abusive homes, emancipating from the foster care system or were raised on the street with parents who had fallen victim to the cycle of homelessness.

Here are some annual statistics about youth homelessness:

  • Studies have estimated that there are approximately 1.68 million runaway or homeless youth under the age of 18 in the U.S. each year.
  • 25 percent of former foster youth nationwide reported that they had been homeless at least one night within two-and-a-half to four years after exiting foster care.
  • It is estimated that 100,000 children are victims of commercial sexual exploitation each year.  Homeless and runaway youth are the most vulnerable population.
  • 40 percent of the runaway and homeless youth population identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) as compared to 10 percent in the general population.
  • About 25 percent of the homeless population has serious mental illness, including chronic depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

Data collected from: National Alliance to End Homelessness

Homeless Youth in Hollywood

A study conducted by Hollywood Homeless Youth Partnership in 2010 entitled No Way Home: Understanding the Needs and Experiences of Homeless Youth in Hollywood found that:

  • 75% of youth were ages 18-25, 25% were minors.
  • 60% of the youth were male, 32% were female, 5% were transgender, and 3% weren’t sure of their identity or used other terms.
  • 40% of youth reported their sexual orientation as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or questioning.
  • 42% of youth were Black/African American, 24% were Latino, and 14% were Caucasian.
  • 14.4 years is the mean age when youth first left home, were removed from home, or were forced out of home. The mean total amount of time youth were homeless was 2.8 years.
  • 25% of youth had spent the night preceding the survey in a place not meant for human habitation, including the streets, rooftops, abandoned buildings or squats, alleys, bus stations, train stations, and airports. In the 30 days before the survey, 51% had spend at least one night in a place not meant for human habitation.
  • 27% had experienced hate crimes due to race, sexual orientation, or gender identity while homeless.
  • 21% had been victims of partner violence including verbal abuse, physical abuse, and/or sexual assault while homeless.
  • 28% of youth reported being in school at the time of the survey, 53%of those over 18 did not have a GED or high school diploma.
  • 23% of youth who had sex in the last 3 months reported involvement in survival sex (sex in exchange for food, money or a place to stay).
  • 49% of youth met the criteria for clinical depression and 18% met the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • 59% of youth had been victims of child, physical and/or sexual abuse.
  • 40% of youth reported having been removed from their home by Child Protective Services (CPS).
  • 69% of youth reported involvement with the juvenile and/or criminal justice systems at some point in their lives.

Read the full report visit the Hollywood Homeless Youth Partnership