National Youth Homelessness Data On Race: Across 7 Cities In The U.S., 87% Of Surveyed Youth Were Minorities, Representing The Youth Homelessness Population 2 To 3 Times Higher Than Expected

In June 2015, Houston declared the end of veteran homelessness and turned its focus to ending youth homelessness by 2020. When U.S. Housing and Urban Development staff came and met with our community to strategize, they noted that solving veteran homeless was tricky, like algebra, but solving youth homelessness was exponentially more complicated, like differential calculus. Youth homelessness is a complex problem that requires consideration of multiple factors in an extremely complicated equation.  Research, Education, and Advocacy Co-Lab for Youth Stability and Thriving (REALYST). (2018). Homeless youth risk and resilience survey. Retrieved from  realyst.org.    https://youthtoday.org/2019/07/to-solve-youth-homelessness-we-must-make-race-part-of-the-equation/   One factor that has not been routinely considered in this equation is race and the underlying contribution of racism. People of color, particularly African Americans, disproportionately experience homelessness. In the Realyst Risk and Resilience study of homeless youth across seven cities, we found that 81% of those interviewed were youth of color, particularly African Americans (37%), who were routinely represented at rates two to three times higher than would be expected given the population in their cities.  In Houston, where approximately 25% of young adults are black, 61% of Realyst youth identified as black and 16% identified as multiracial. The SPARC study, conducted by the Center on Social Innovation across six U.S. cities, similarly found that black people were disproportionately represented among homeless youth ages 18 to 24: 78% were black and 89% were people of color.  One reason for this over-representation may be that black and American Indian youth are over-represented in systems that contribute to and perpetuate homelessness — the foster care and criminal justice systems. Approximately 40% of youth who age out of the foster care system will experience homelessness, and 40% of youth experiencing homelessness report a history of involvement in the foster care system. Black and American Indian children are represented in the foster care system at rates approximately 1.6 to 2.2 times greater than their share of the population and data from Texas shows that black parents are more likely to have children removed than white parents following an investigation.  Disproportionality in the criminal justice system is also well documented. More than one-third of homeless youth report prior involvement with the juvenile justice system and more than half reported being arrested since turning 18. According to the MacArthur Foundation, youth of color make up one-third of adolescents in the U.S. but two-thirds of juveniles who are incarcerated.  REDLINING, OTHER DRIVERS  Involvement with the criminal justice system disrupts employment, leading to unstable housing and homelessness. And, the experience of homelessness itself promotes involvement in survival behaviors such as trading sex or stealing, which contribute to criminal justice involvement.  An additional contributor to disproportionate rates of homelessness among people of color, particularly African Americans, is what the SPARC study terms “network impoverishment.” This phenomenon reflects the fact that homelessness is often the product of economic circumstances that a robust and well-resourced social network could address. Due to policies such as redlining that have prevented wealth accumulation in the African American community, there are fewer resources within the network for families to help each other out in times of economic hardship. These problems are further compounded by intergenerational involvement in the criminal justice system and foster care systems that further weaken the ability of networks to provide each other with supports.  Network impoverishment means it is easier for African American young people to fall into homelessness for primarily economic reasons. We see evidence to support this when we examine the risk profiles of young people experiencing homelessness: African American youth often have lower rates of mental health problems and substance use, problems that contribute to homelessness even in the face of strong network support.  Unfortunately, this may mean that some of the structures embedded in our current systems that prioritize housing lists to provide for those who are most vulnerable using indicators such as mental health and substance use problems may actually privilege white youth with higher risk profiles over black youth who have become homeless for economic reasons.  Understanding some of the drivers of this disproportionality suggest some directions for the future, both for those assessing and serving young people experiencing homelessness and for those seeking to enact policies that ensure the end of youth homelessness. We suggest a few starting points.  MAKE RACIAL EQUITY PART OF THE CONVERSATION  In our roles as a researcher and a young adult advocate, we are often engaged in conversations with agencies and policymakers that are committed to ending youth homelessness in our community. However, the issue of racial equity is rarely part of these conversations. We have seen an evolution in our service systems to embrace trauma-informed approaches and are gratified to see that many in our community are understanding challenging behaviors and circumstances through the lens of trauma.  An additional lens to add to this trauma-informed perspective is that of racial justice. Having open conversations about how race and racism impact both the problems we observe and the solutions we develop is critical to ensuring that we do not unintentionally create new systems that perpetuate disparities in housing stability.  INCLUDE YOUNG POC IN DECISION-MAKING  One way to ensure that practices and policies truly serve those we intend to help is through including young people with lived experience, specifically young people of color, as active decision makers in all these conversations. This requires training and cultivation of skills for both young people and those who are aiming to include them at the table.  This preparation should include explicit training on racial equity to assist all parties in understanding how institutional racism and implicit bias influence youth homelessness and ensure that the solutions we develop to address the problem are informed by young people who bring their own perspectives, combined with an understanding of the broader context. These efforts are not easy, but with time, effort and patience, we can build partnerships that ensure that services are more responsive to youth needs.  INVEST IN YOUNG ADULTS  In order to truly end youth homelessness, we need to invest in strategies that address the underlying drivers of network impoverishment to build stronger networks. Approximately one-quarter of youth experiencing homelessness are parents who are trying to establish stability for both themselves and their children. Any solution to addressing youth homelessness needs to think not just about meeting immediate housing needs, but to building the ability of youth to gain stable employment that gives them the ability to build capital and be a resource for the children they are raising.  Investing in young adults experiencing homelessness today will yield benefits for future generations. Robust job training programs that assist young people in developing careers are key to these efforts. And, these efforts need to be made in parallel with advocacy to ensure that those who have a criminal history are able to gain sustainable employment. More broadly, policies such as individual development accounts for infants, such as the baby bonds proposal recently championed by Sen. Cory Booker, is an example of broader system approaches that can address network impoverishment to build wealth for future generations.  Solving the complex problem of youth homelessness requires solutions that include race in the equation through an explicit commitment to engage in anti-racist policies and practices. This involves making racial equity part of our conversations, elevating the voices of youth of color with experiences of homelessness and investing in long-term strategies to help today’s youth experiencing homelessness be a safety net for their children and communities in the future.

In June 2015, Houston declared the end of veteran homelessness and turned its focus to ending youth homelessness by 2020. When U.S. Housing and Urban Development staff came and met with our community to strategize, they noted that solving veteran homeless was tricky, like algebra, but solving youth homelessness was exponentially more complicated, like differential calculus. Youth homelessness is a complex problem that requires consideration of multiple factors in an extremely complicated equation.

Research, Education, and Advocacy Co-Lab for Youth Stability and Thriving (REALYST). (2018). Homeless youth risk and resilience survey. Retrieved from realyst.org.

https://youthtoday.org/2019/07/to-solve-youth-homelessness-we-must-make-race-part-of-the-equation/

One factor that has not been routinely considered in this equation is race and the underlying contribution of racism. People of color, particularly African Americans, disproportionately experience homelessness. In the Realyst Risk and Resilience study of homeless youth across seven cities, we found that 81% of those interviewed were youth of color, particularly African Americans (37%), who were routinely represented at rates two to three times higher than would be expected given the population in their cities.

In Houston, where approximately 25% of young adults are black, 61% of Realyst youth identified as black and 16% identified as multiracial. The SPARC study, conducted by the Center on Social Innovation across six U.S. cities, similarly found that black people were disproportionately represented among homeless youth ages 18 to 24: 78% were black and 89% were people of color.

One reason for this over-representation may be that black and American Indian youth are over-represented in systems that contribute to and perpetuate homelessness — the foster care and criminal justice systems. Approximately 40% of youth who age out of the foster care system will experience homelessness, and 40% of youth experiencing homelessness report a history of involvement in the foster care system. Black and American Indian children are represented in the foster care system at rates approximately 1.6 to 2.2 times greater than their share of the population and data from Texas shows that black parents are more likely to have children removed than white parents following an investigation.

Disproportionality in the criminal justice system is also well documented. More than one-third of homeless youth report prior involvement with the juvenile justice system and more than half reported being arrested since turning 18. According to the MacArthur Foundation, youth of color make up one-third of adolescents in the U.S. but two-thirds of juveniles who are incarcerated.

REDLINING, OTHER DRIVERS

Involvement with the criminal justice system disrupts employment, leading to unstable housing and homelessness. And, the experience of homelessness itself promotes involvement in survival behaviors such as trading sex or stealing, which contribute to criminal justice involvement.

An additional contributor to disproportionate rates of homelessness among people of color, particularly African Americans, is what the SPARC study terms “network impoverishment.” This phenomenon reflects the fact that homelessness is often the product of economic circumstances that a robust and well-resourced social network could address. Due to policies such as redlining that have prevented wealth accumulation in the African American community, there are fewer resources within the network for families to help each other out in times of economic hardship. These problems are further compounded by intergenerational involvement in the criminal justice system and foster care systems that further weaken the ability of networks to provide each other with supports.

Network impoverishment means it is easier for African American young people to fall into homelessness for primarily economic reasons. We see evidence to support this when we examine the risk profiles of young people experiencing homelessness: African American youth often have lower rates of mental health problems and substance use, problems that contribute to homelessness even in the face of strong network support.

Unfortunately, this may mean that some of the structures embedded in our current systems that prioritize housing lists to provide for those who are most vulnerable using indicators such as mental health and substance use problems may actually privilege white youth with higher risk profiles over black youth who have become homeless for economic reasons.

Understanding some of the drivers of this disproportionality suggest some directions for the future, both for those assessing and serving young people experiencing homelessness and for those seeking to enact policies that ensure the end of youth homelessness. We suggest a few starting points.

MAKE RACIAL EQUITY PART OF THE CONVERSATION

In our roles as a researcher and a young adult advocate, we are often engaged in conversations with agencies and policymakers that are committed to ending youth homelessness in our community. However, the issue of racial equity is rarely part of these conversations. We have seen an evolution in our service systems to embrace trauma-informed approaches and are gratified to see that many in our community are understanding challenging behaviors and circumstances through the lens of trauma.

An additional lens to add to this trauma-informed perspective is that of racial justice. Having open conversations about how race and racism impact both the problems we observe and the solutions we develop is critical to ensuring that we do not unintentionally create new systems that perpetuate disparities in housing stability.

INCLUDE YOUNG POC IN DECISION-MAKING

One way to ensure that practices and policies truly serve those we intend to help is through including young people with lived experience, specifically young people of color, as active decision makers in all these conversations. This requires training and cultivation of skills for both young people and those who are aiming to include them at the table.

This preparation should include explicit training on racial equity to assist all parties in understanding how institutional racism and implicit bias influence youth homelessness and ensure that the solutions we develop to address the problem are informed by young people who bring their own perspectives, combined with an understanding of the broader context. These efforts are not easy, but with time, effort and patience, we can build partnerships that ensure that services are more responsive to youth needs.

INVEST IN YOUNG ADULTS

In order to truly end youth homelessness, we need to invest in strategies that address the underlying drivers of network impoverishment to build stronger networks. Approximately one-quarter of youth experiencing homelessness are parents who are trying to establish stability for both themselves and their children. Any solution to addressing youth homelessness needs to think not just about meeting immediate housing needs, but to building the ability of youth to gain stable employment that gives them the ability to build capital and be a resource for the children they are raising.

Investing in young adults experiencing homelessness today will yield benefits for future generations. Robust job training programs that assist young people in developing careers are key to these efforts. And, these efforts need to be made in parallel with advocacy to ensure that those who have a criminal history are able to gain sustainable employment. More broadly, policies such as individual development accounts for infants, such as the baby bonds proposal recently championed by Sen. Cory Booker, is an example of broader system approaches that can address network impoverishment to build wealth for future generations.

Solving the complex problem of youth homelessness requires solutions that include race in the equation through an explicit commitment to engage in anti-racist policies and practices. This involves making racial equity part of our conversations, elevating the voices of youth of color with experiences of homelessness and investing in long-term strategies to help today’s youth experiencing homelessness be a safety net for their children and communities in the future.

Palm Beach County (FL) Homeless Youth 100-Day Challenge Results: Housed 121 Youth In 100 Days, 246 In 20 Months, No Additional Funding, No Existing Coordinated Community Response

It is not often that a community builds a whole new system from scratch — with no additional funding. But over the course of a year and a half, that is exactly what Palm Beach County, Florida has done regarding youth homelessness.   https://endhomelessness.org/palm-beach-county-excels-in-services-for-youth-homelessness/   For the amazing, system-transforming work that Palm Beach undertook during and after their 100 Day challenge of housing youth, the Alliance is proud to recognize Palm Beach County as the winner of the 2019 Excellence in Ending Youth Homelessness Award.  The Alliance strongly believes that setting and accomplishing aggressive goals is key to housing more people, and no community exemplifies this strategy better than Palm Beach County. Beginning in late 2017, the County developed ambitious targets, gathered dozens of stakeholders, and led a 100-Day housing challenge with service providers. As a result, Palm Beach County was able to house 121 youth within that 100 day period—despite the County having no youth homelessness system previously in place.  The community has housed a total of 246 homeless youth in the past 20 months, using strategies like youth outreach and coordinated entry specialists, partnering with the Housing Authorities and Child Welfare to secure vouchers with homeless youth prioritized, and expanding a Youth Advisory Board.  To meet this need, community leaders crafted multi-sector partnerships between the County, service providers, and corporate and philanthropic organizations. Palm Beach focused on providing the Housing First intervention of Rapid Re-Housing to youth and innovated with room-sharing arrangements to maximize that resource. Youth advisors provided key insight, progress did not let up, and Palm Beach County’s annual Point in Time Count dropped an incredible 30% in the youth category.  Most importantly, though, Palm Beach has centered their services and strategy around those who are most marginalized. Of the youth housed in the initial 100-Day challenge, 100% were high-acuity and 81% were youth of color. Young people and partners have provided training and important leadership in the development of the system, especially in educating government and nonprofit partners around issues of LGBTQ youth inclusion and equity.  Palm Beach County’s successes demonstrate what happens when community leaders and stakeholders are all pulling in the same direction. They identified an area of need, set targets, and centered the right voices in developing a dynamic strategy to house more youth.  And the particular success of Palm Beach represents a broader success in housing young people nationwide. Twenty-one communities have completed 100 day challenges and housed 2,485 youth, and 21 communities have received federal Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) resources with 50 more to come. Many types of youth homelessness initiatives continue to succeed. This progress is worth honoring—not just for Palm Beach County, but for all who work to serve homeless youth.  The Alliance will recognize Palm Beach County (represented by multi-sector leaders Wendy Tippett, Katherine Hammer, Nydia Sabugo-Marrou, Michael Murray, and Sophia Eccelston) at a special Awards Recognition Event during the 2019 National Conference on Ending Homelessness on July 22 in Washington, D.C.

It is not often that a community builds a whole new system from scratch — with no additional funding. But over the course of a year and a half, that is exactly what Palm Beach County, Florida has done regarding youth homelessness.

https://endhomelessness.org/palm-beach-county-excels-in-services-for-youth-homelessness/

For the amazing, system-transforming work that Palm Beach undertook during and after their 100 Day challenge of housing youth, the Alliance is proud to recognize Palm Beach County as the winner of the 2019 Excellence in Ending Youth Homelessness Award.

The Alliance strongly believes that setting and accomplishing aggressive goals is key to housing more people, and no community exemplifies this strategy better than Palm Beach County. Beginning in late 2017, the County developed ambitious targets, gathered dozens of stakeholders, and led a 100-Day housing challenge with service providers. As a result, Palm Beach County was able to house 121 youth within that 100 day period—despite the County having no youth homelessness system previously in place.

The community has housed a total of 246 homeless youth in the past 20 months, using strategies like youth outreach and coordinated entry specialists, partnering with the Housing Authorities and Child Welfare to secure vouchers with homeless youth prioritized, and expanding a Youth Advisory Board.

To meet this need, community leaders crafted multi-sector partnerships between the County, service providers, and corporate and philanthropic organizations. Palm Beach focused on providing the Housing First intervention of Rapid Re-Housing to youth and innovated with room-sharing arrangements to maximize that resource. Youth advisors provided key insight, progress did not let up, and Palm Beach County’s annual Point in Time Count dropped an incredible 30% in the youth category.

Most importantly, though, Palm Beach has centered their services and strategy around those who are most marginalized. Of the youth housed in the initial 100-Day challenge, 100% were high-acuity and 81% were youth of color. Young people and partners have provided training and important leadership in the development of the system, especially in educating government and nonprofit partners around issues of LGBTQ youth inclusion and equity.

Palm Beach County’s successes demonstrate what happens when community leaders and stakeholders are all pulling in the same direction. They identified an area of need, set targets, and centered the right voices in developing a dynamic strategy to house more youth.

And the particular success of Palm Beach represents a broader success in housing young people nationwide. Twenty-one communities have completed 100 day challenges and housed 2,485 youth, and 21 communities have received federal Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) resources with 50 more to come. Many types of youth homelessness initiatives continue to succeed. This progress is worth honoring—not just for Palm Beach County, but for all who work to serve homeless youth.

The Alliance will recognize Palm Beach County (represented by multi-sector leaders Wendy Tippett, Katherine Hammer, Nydia Sabugo-Marrou, Michael Murray, and Sophia Eccelston) at a special Awards Recognition Event during the 2019 National Conference on Ending Homelessness on July 22 in Washington, D.C.

Butler County (OH) Foster Youth Graduation Project: 16 Foster Youth Graduate High School, Spent A Total Of 77 Years In Foster Care, In 2002 Not A Single Foster Youth Graduated

The 16 Butler County Children Services foster kids who graduated high school this year have spent a total of 77 years in the foster care system and beat the odds to get their diplomas, officials said.   https://www.journal-news.com/news/these-butler-county-foster-kid-beat-the-odds-get-their-high-school-diplomas/RSnxmxMuKtSxN5L2CFbWpM/   Every year, Children Services employees throw a party for foster youth who graduate from high school. The workers make the luncheon, and each graduate is sent off with big baskets of supplies they’ll need at college or going into the workforce.Abby Sexton, independent living and emancipation coordinator for Children Services, told the Journal-News when she arrived at the agency in 2002 not a single foster child graduated. The group of 16 is one of the largest classes so far because they didn’t lose many who could have exited the system when they turned 18.  These 10 Butler County foster kids have defied the odds “I’m really not quite sure why the change this year, I don’t know if maybe these kiddos are listening to us finally,” she said. “Or they are just making a very smart decision to stay and complete their education and then take full advantages of the Bridges program. ”Known as “Bridges,” a new law passed in 2017 extends the foster care emancipation age to 21, and provides housing and support to those who would otherwise be on their own at age 18.  “I think all of us that are working with these kids are more excited about the ones that stay because we know how important that diploma is, and how it’s the key to the next step,” she said. “Whether it be college or just entering into the workforce, that diploma gets them so much further than if they would have left at 18 and had nothing.” In Ohio, about 1,000 youth emancipate out of the foster care system every year, and only half of them get their diploma or a GED.  One of Sexton’s charges was part of the graduating class, now Camaury Gaines is hopefully headed for Miami University Hamilton in the fall. He said he couldn’t have done it without Sexton’s help. “I look at her like an aunt, kind of,” Gaines said. “She always looks out for me, she fights for me. I don’t know, she’s just really been all around great to me.” Sexton said they are working now to get Gaines enrolled at school. He wants to be a doctor.“I want to become a neurologist and see what else happens after that,” he told the Journal-News. “But I also want to come back and help kids that was in my situation and show them you can still do it, that it’s possible.”  Leaders hopeful foster emancipation extension will become reality Butler County Job and Family Services Executive Director Bill Morrison said they always encourage their foster children to try and lift themselves out of the lives they’ve been forced to live. “Just like kids who come out of regular Butler County families, some of them succeed in their high aspirations, and some of them don’t succeed in those high aspirations,” Morrison said.  “But we want them to be thinking about what’s the best life they can have because that’s really how you break the cycle of abuse and neglect.” Sexton said this year seven of the graduates are going to college or trade school, six are getting jobs, two are considering the military and one is incarcerated in the Butler County Jail. She said it is “disheartening” when one of their former charges crosses to the wrong side of the law, and unfortunately, it is not rare.“The rate of youth within two years I think that are incarcerated or homeless is just astronomical,” she said.

The 16 Butler County Children Services foster kids who graduated high school this year have spent a total of 77 years in the foster care system and beat the odds to get their diplomas, officials said.

https://www.journal-news.com/news/these-butler-county-foster-kid-beat-the-odds-get-their-high-school-diplomas/RSnxmxMuKtSxN5L2CFbWpM/

Every year, Children Services employees throw a party for foster youth who graduate from high school. The workers make the luncheon, and each graduate is sent off with big baskets of supplies they’ll need at college or going into the workforce.Abby Sexton, independent living and emancipation coordinator for Children Services, told the Journal-News when she arrived at the agency in 2002 not a single foster child graduated. The group of 16 is one of the largest classes so far because they didn’t lose many who could have exited the system when they turned 18.

These 10 Butler County foster kids have defied the odds “I’m really not quite sure why the change this year, I don’t know if maybe these kiddos are listening to us finally,” she said. “Or they are just making a very smart decision to stay and complete their education and then take full advantages of the Bridges program. ”Known as “Bridges,” a new law passed in 2017 extends the foster care emancipation age to 21, and provides housing and support to those who would otherwise be on their own at age 18.

“I think all of us that are working with these kids are more excited about the ones that stay because we know how important that diploma is, and how it’s the key to the next step,” she said. “Whether it be college or just entering into the workforce, that diploma gets them so much further than if they would have left at 18 and had nothing.” In Ohio, about 1,000 youth emancipate out of the foster care system every year, and only half of them get their diploma or a GED.

One of Sexton’s charges was part of the graduating class, now Camaury Gaines is hopefully headed for Miami University Hamilton in the fall. He said he couldn’t have done it without Sexton’s help. “I look at her like an aunt, kind of,” Gaines said. “She always looks out for me, she fights for me. I don’t know, she’s just really been all around great to me.” Sexton said they are working now to get Gaines enrolled at school. He wants to be a doctor.“I want to become a neurologist and see what else happens after that,” he told the Journal-News. “But I also want to come back and help kids that was in my situation and show them you can still do it, that it’s possible.”

Leaders hopeful foster emancipation extension will become reality Butler County Job and Family Services Executive Director Bill Morrison said they always encourage their foster children to try and lift themselves out of the lives they’ve been forced to live. “Just like kids who come out of regular Butler County families, some of them succeed in their high aspirations, and some of them don’t succeed in those high aspirations,” Morrison said.

“But we want them to be thinking about what’s the best life they can have because that’s really how you break the cycle of abuse and neglect.” Sexton said this year seven of the graduates are going to college or trade school, six are getting jobs, two are considering the military and one is incarcerated in the Butler County Jail. She said it is “disheartening” when one of their former charges crosses to the wrong side of the law, and unfortunately, it is not rare.“The rate of youth within two years I think that are incarcerated or homeless is just astronomical,” she said.

Springfield (MO) Youth Homelessness Data Count: 57 Of 78 Youth Reported Experiencing Or Witnessing Household Trauma, 30 Youth Reported Sex Trafficking & Survival Sex Experiences

Of the 78 homeless and at-risk youth surveyed in Springfield earlier this year, 57 of them reported having been the victim of or witness to repeated household traumas. Forty-five of the youth said they had thought about suicide, and 38 reported they had self-mutilated, such as cutting or burning themselves, at some point.   https://www.news-leader.com/story/news/local/ozarks/2019/06/14/springfield-homeless-youth-survey-reveals-dangers-streets-risk-missouri/1455835001/   More than half reported they had wondered where they would sleep the following night.  These stats come from the 2019 High Risk and Homeless Youth Report that was released Friday.  The survey project was developed and completed by the Community Partnership of the Ozarks' Homeless Youth Task Force in conjunction with Missouri State University's Sociology Department.  This report highlights basic demographic information about youth experiencing homelessness as well as trends in youth homelessness.  Though the number of youth who completed the survey was down considerably from the 2018 report (158 youth completed the survey last year), it is not believed that the number of homeless or at risk youth have decreased.  The survey was done on a very cold day in January, explained Michelle Hethcoat, CPO's special projects coordinator.  "That afternoon it was about 15 degrees," she said. "If they had been in an abandoned building or managed to get a hotel room or find a friend's place to crash, they would likely have stayed there."  Also, the survey was done in a new location this year, which combined with the weather, may have led to a reduced attendance for surveys at the event, Hethcoat said.  There were 144 youth counted in the annual Point-In-Time Count who were either literally homeless, in emergency shelters, or in transitional housing programs.  Key points from the 2019 High Risk and Homeless Youth Report:  Of the youth who completed the survey,  42 respondents had been wards of the state and 24 were still in care.  36 respondents were males and 39 were females. One was transgender and two were gender non-conforming.  57 youth were white, nine were black and five were two or more racial group backgrounds. Three people were American Indian. Three people responded "other" which included Mexican/American. A separate question asked if they are Hispanic/Latino; 10 subjects said yes.  Of the 18 individuals who were released from foster care, six said they did not receive the support needed to transition out of care and live independently.  Five people said they or their significant other might be pregnant, and 15 said they or their significant other was pregnant or currently a parent.  57 respondents had been the victim of or witness to repeated traumatic events in a caregiving situation.  45 reported experiencing some sort of abuse from a relative or other person they had stayed with. Of those who were abused, two reported being emotionally abused, two were physically abused, two were sexually abused and 26 had been abused in some combination of the three. Thirteen did not specify.  39 youth said they had run away from their home.  41 respondents reported that one or both of their parents had an alcohol or drug problem.  17 reported they have had or currently have an alcohol or drug problem. Four did not answer. Over two-thirds said they have never had a drug or alcohol problem.  31 respondents said they had been diagnosed with a mental illness.  30 individuals had stayed in a homeless shelter, lived with friends or another family member, or stayed in a hotel/motel within the last week.  Nine said they had slept in a place not meant to be slept in, such as a vehicle, shed, park, porch, tunnel or vacant building within the last week.  16 youth had experienced homelessness with their family.  33 youth had been homeless on their own without their family.  37 youth said they had wondered where they would get food today.  27 young people agreed or strongly agreed that there are adults in Springfield who endanger or harm homeless youth.  35 respondents reported doing something they would not normally do to stay in a housing situation; 24 of those 35 said they had stayed somewhere that didn't feel safe; nine of the 35 said they had paid something other than money (food stamps, sex, labor/work) to stay in a housing situation; 9 of the 35 reported they stayed with a sexual partner they otherwise would not have stayed with in order to stay in a housing situation.  Seven respondents said they received something (money, food, shelter, drugs, etc.) in exchange for sex/sexual activity; five said that they had been made/persuaded/forced to have sex in exchange for something.  *Note: Respondents did not have to answer every question.  Find the full report at cpozarks.org/oaeh.

Of the 78 homeless and at-risk youth surveyed in Springfield earlier this year, 57 of them reported having been the victim of or witness to repeated household traumas. Forty-five of the youth said they had thought about suicide, and 38 reported they had self-mutilated, such as cutting or burning themselves, at some point.

https://www.news-leader.com/story/news/local/ozarks/2019/06/14/springfield-homeless-youth-survey-reveals-dangers-streets-risk-missouri/1455835001/

More than half reported they had wondered where they would sleep the following night.

These stats come from the 2019 High Risk and Homeless Youth Report that was released Friday.

The survey project was developed and completed by the Community Partnership of the Ozarks' Homeless Youth Task Force in conjunction with Missouri State University's Sociology Department.

This report highlights basic demographic information about youth experiencing homelessness as well as trends in youth homelessness.

Though the number of youth who completed the survey was down considerably from the 2018 report (158 youth completed the survey last year), it is not believed that the number of homeless or at risk youth have decreased.

The survey was done on a very cold day in January, explained Michelle Hethcoat, CPO's special projects coordinator.

"That afternoon it was about 15 degrees," she said. "If they had been in an abandoned building or managed to get a hotel room or find a friend's place to crash, they would likely have stayed there."

Also, the survey was done in a new location this year, which combined with the weather, may have led to a reduced attendance for surveys at the event, Hethcoat said.

There were 144 youth counted in the annual Point-In-Time Count who were either literally homeless, in emergency shelters, or in transitional housing programs.

Key points from the 2019 High Risk and Homeless Youth Report:

Of the youth who completed the survey,

42 respondents had been wards of the state and 24 were still in care.

36 respondents were males and 39 were females. One was transgender and two were gender non-conforming.

57 youth were white, nine were black and five were two or more racial group backgrounds. Three people were American Indian. Three people responded "other" which included Mexican/American. A separate question asked if they are Hispanic/Latino; 10 subjects said yes.

Of the 18 individuals who were released from foster care, six said they did not receive the support needed to transition out of care and live independently.

Five people said they or their significant other might be pregnant, and 15 said they or their significant other was pregnant or currently a parent.

57 respondents had been the victim of or witness to repeated traumatic events in a caregiving situation.

45 reported experiencing some sort of abuse from a relative or other person they had stayed with. Of those who were abused, two reported being emotionally abused, two were physically abused, two were sexually abused and 26 had been abused in some combination of the three. Thirteen did not specify.

39 youth said they had run away from their home.

41 respondents reported that one or both of their parents had an alcohol or drug problem.

17 reported they have had or currently have an alcohol or drug problem. Four did not answer. Over two-thirds said they have never had a drug or alcohol problem.

31 respondents said they had been diagnosed with a mental illness.

30 individuals had stayed in a homeless shelter, lived with friends or another family member, or stayed in a hotel/motel within the last week.

Nine said they had slept in a place not meant to be slept in, such as a vehicle, shed, park, porch, tunnel or vacant building within the last week.

16 youth had experienced homelessness with their family.

33 youth had been homeless on their own without their family.

37 youth said they had wondered where they would get food today.

27 young people agreed or strongly agreed that there are adults in Springfield who endanger or harm homeless youth.

35 respondents reported doing something they would not normally do to stay in a housing situation; 24 of those 35 said they had stayed somewhere that didn't feel safe; nine of the 35 said they had paid something other than money (food stamps, sex, labor/work) to stay in a housing situation; 9 of the 35 reported they stayed with a sexual partner they otherwise would not have stayed with in order to stay in a housing situation.

Seven respondents said they received something (money, food, shelter, drugs, etc.) in exchange for sex/sexual activity; five said that they had been made/persuaded/forced to have sex in exchange for something.

*Note: Respondents did not have to answer every question.

Find the full report at cpozarks.org/oaeh.