The winter is approaching and the weather will turn cold and unpredictable. We have more than our share of homeless youth in the Bay Area.
Behind the face of every homeless young person is another heart-breaking story – a teenage boy abused by his alcoholic parent, or a pregnant girl rejected by her guardian, or a teenager trying to escape gang membership or a life of forced prostitution. In case after case, the main cause of youth homelessness is physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse from parents or guardians. The facts about homelessness are staggering… but acknowledging the depth of the problem is the first step in fixing it.
Facts of Youth Homelessness
- 57% of homeless kids spend at least one day every month without food.
- In the United States, as many as 20,000 kids are forced into prostitution by human traffickingnetworks every year.
- According to a study of youth in shelters, nearly 50% reported intense conflict or physical harm by a family member as a major contributing factor to their homelessness.
- Over 25% of former foster children become homeless within two to four years of leaving the system.
- 50% of adolescents aging out of foster care and juvenile justice systems will be homeless within six months because they are unprepared to live independently, have limited education and no social support.
- Almost 40% of the homeless in the United States are under 18.
More Homeless Youth Statistics from Covenant House
In addition to these heartbreaking statistics, a study recently issued by the Covenant House Institute, revealed that:
- 41% of Covenant House kids witnessed acts of violence in their homes.
- 36% of Covenant House kids indicated that someone in their family used drugs regularly.
- 19% of Covenant House kids reported being beaten with an object.
- 19% of Covenant House kids reported that they have endured sexual abuse.
- 15% of Covenant House kids reported someone close to them had been murdered.
That’s why Covenant house works day and night to provide shelter and support for kids who have endured lives of abuse, neglect, and homelessness.