Facts About Homeless Youth
- In January 2015, more than 206,000 people in families with children experienced homelessness across the United States. Another 73,700 youth were homeless and living apart from their families. That’s a larger number than the entire population of Thurston County, home to Washington’s state capitol.
- Roughly 32% of the total homeless population is young people under the age of 24.
- In the 2014-2015 school year, more than 35,000 public school students of all ages in Washington state were identified as homeless. That’s enough to fill over 500 school buses.
- Some homeless children and youth are with their families. However, in Washington state, nearly 13,000 unaccompanied youth access homeless housing and services each year in Washington.
- Youth Homelessness is as common in rural counties as it is in non-rural counties, according to a report from Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.
- Family conflict is the most prevalent reason youth and young adults identify for becoming homeless.
- Up to 50% of homeless youth have in foster care or an institutional setting—like the juvenile justice system—at some point in their lives. These are vital programs, but they lack sufficient resources to support all young people. As a result, children slip through the cracks or “age out” of services.
- Up to 40% of homeless youth are LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, or Questioning). Family rejection on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is a frequent factor contributing to LGBTQ homelessness.
- Homeless youth suffer significant mental health problems, including depression, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorders.
You can help prevent and end homelessness in Washington state.
- Download Host Homes for Youth & Young Adults: Washington State Best Practices Manual
- Download From Inpatient Treatment to Homelessness: Envisioning a Path Toward Healing and Safe Housing for Young People in Washington State - Full Report
- Download From Inpatient Treatment to Homelessness - Executive Summary
- Download Youth Homelessness in Washington - Executive Summary
- Download Youth Homelessness in Washington - Full Report
- Read more about youth homelessness