Blog
3 weeks ago

Focus on Youth Homelessness

by Kate Webb

Did you know that 1 in 10 young adults aged 18-25 and 1 in 30 adolescents aged 13-17 experience some form of homelessness unaccompanied by a parent or guardian each year? 

In fact, almost 41,000 “unaccompanied youth” (those under 25 that are not part of a family or accompanied by a parent or guardian) were identified as experiencing homelessness in America on any given night. Of these, more than half were unsheltered—sleeping outdoors, in cars, or other places not intended for human habitation. This is according to a report released last month by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness titled "Homelessness in America: Focus on Youth."

Inter-Faith Ministries has noticed a substantial uptick in youth at our own shelters in recent years—the number of youth served nearly doubled last year from the year before (211 versus 112). 

The causes of youth homelessness are manifold, but many unaccompanied youth report negative experiences in school, and are less likely to have completed high school. Other risk factors include “unstable family life, including experiencing housing instability or homelessness as a child, severe family conflict, physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect or abandonment by parents and caregivers, as well as caregiver and youth substance use and mental health disorders. Youth often report severe family conflict as the primary reason for their homelessness. Some youth may be rejected or abused by their families because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.” Many youth said they first became homeless when a parent or caregiver asked them to leave home—over half in one study.

In order to fight homelessness and best serve our clients, it is important that we understand how and why they became homeless in the first place. I encourage you to read out the full report here, then please consider supporting IFM’s three homeless shelters with a gift today.

Donate now.

Program Center, 829 N Market, Wichita, KS 67214|(316) 264-9303