Homeless Youth

National Homeless Youth Statistics

These statistics paint a picture of the seriousness of youth homelessness, especially in big cities like New York and Philadelphia. This report from 2013 provides insight into these children and young people.

Reasons for Homelessness – Young People in New York City

The 2013 count of homeless youth in New York City (performed on a single night in January 2013), captured the prevalent circumstances cited by youth as the reasons behind their homelessness. (NYC CCoC, 2013)

  • 34% – Physical, mental or sexual abuse
  • 34% – Fighting frequently with parents
  • 31% – Kicked out of home
  • 26% – Neglect, parent not meeting basic needs
  • 20% – Not willing to live by parents’ rules
  • 20% – Parents’ use of drugs or alcohol

Unstably Housed and Homeless Youth in New York City Statistics

  • On a single night in January 2015, New York State had approximately 2,493 unaccompanied homeless youth who were between the ages of 18 and 24. (HUD, 2015)
  • On a single night in January 2015 the New York City mayor’s office identified a total of 317 unstably housed individuals. (CIDI 2015)*
    • This included youth in:
      • Shelters
      • Drop-in centers
      • Transitional living programs
      • Church beds
      • Friend’s place or couch surfing
      • Hospitals, jails, juvenile detention, mental health facilities, group homes
      • Temporary places where they traded sex or were forced to have sex for shelter
  • Of these individuals:
    • Age:
      • 4% are under 18
      • 44% are 18-20
      • 52% are 21-24
    • Gender:
      • 53% male
      • 38% female
      • 1% trans-female
      • 2% trans-male
    • Race/ethnicity:
      • 38% African American
      • 25% Hispanic
      • 8% White
      • 20% Two or more races
    • Sexual orientation:
      • 51% straight
      • 44% LGBTQ

* Youth homelessness is often underreported and extremely difficult to track.

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