According to HUDís 2014 Point-in-Time Report, 34% of the total homeless population is under 24. Some homeless children and youth are with their families. In 2014, however, 45,205 were unaccompanied. About 80% of homeless youth (aged 12-21) use drugs or alcohol as a means to self-medicate to deal with the traumatic experiences and abuse they face.
The twenty-first of December is designated "Homeless Personsí Memorial Day" to bring attention to the tragedy of homelessness. State and local governments, coalitions, and other entities are encouraged to sponsor events to promote awareness of the plight of the homeless and to identify actions that individuals and organizations may take to address the problem of homelessness. (ORC 5.2262 Homeless personsí memorial day. Effective Date: 2008 SB243 04-07-2009)
The Department of Justice estimates that every year, over 1.7 million teens experience homelessness in the US. According to estimates by the Urban Institute, nearly 1 in 5 youths under the age of 18 will run away at least once.
Approximately 40% of homeless teens identify as LGBT. Family rejection on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity was the most frequently cited factor contributing to LGBT homelessness (46%). Over 50% of young people in shelters and on the streets report that their parents told them to leave or knew they were leaving and didnít care.
A 2002 report on sexual abuse among adolescent runaways, prepared for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, found that 21-40% of homeless youth had been sexually abused compared to 1-3% of the general youth population.
Of youth who run away, 41% have been abandoned by their parents for at least 24 hours and 43% have been beaten by a caretaker.
HIV rates for homeless people are 3 to 9 times higher than reported rates for comparative samples in the US. A study across four cities found a prevalence of 2.3% for homeless youth under 25.
Source: dosomething.org | ohio.gov