As many as 550,000 young people each year are homeless for more than a week, according to estimates by the National Alliance to End Homelessness.
Alone on the street, youth can become victims of violence, develop serious mental health and addiction problems, and be forced to trade sex for food and shelter.
Learn more about the experiences of homeless youth in the 2016 report on street outreach programs.
You might not realize a young person was homeless if you passed them on the street or in the halls of your local school. Homeless youth can be found living on the street, on a friend’s couch or in temporary shelter. No one’s experience is the same.
Anthony Ross witnessed violence in his home as a child then ended up homeless as a teenager.
Jessica McCormick ran away from a violent home the summer before her senior year but made her way to college and helps other students do the same.
Syncere St. Jamyz went from a stable home to being homeless in Chicago's Boystown neighborhood as a teenager.
Sept. 7 1974: President Gerald Ford signs Runaway Youth Act, establishing network of emergency shelters for teens.
1977: Runaway Youth Act becomes Runaway and Homeless Youth Act.
1994: Street Outreach Program put in place to serve homeless youth at risk of sexual exploitation.
2002: Estimated 1.6 million youth ran away or were thrown out in 1999, Department of Justice report says.
2003: Maternity Group Homes for pregnant and parenting homeless youth added to Transitional Living Program.
2014: Runaway and Homeless Youth Act programs promote federal plan to better serve human trafficking victims.
2015: FYSB funds 597 grantees across the country toprovide basic center, street outreach andtransitional living services.
2013: Point-in-time count of people experiencing homelessness in United States finds 46,924 youth homeless and on their own.
2010: Federal government puts forth plan to end youth homelessness by 2020.
Since 1974 the Family & Youth Services Bureau has, through the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act, provided funding to programs tailored to the needs of homeless and unstably housed teens and young adults. Street outreach, emergency shelter and transitional living programs across the country provide young people with the tools and support they need to leave homelessness behind forever.
Without a safe place to go home to every night, young people can’t focus on school, work or even the simple skills, like cooking and cleaning, that are part of growing up.
Young people succeed because the adults in their lives – teachers, coaches, neighbors, friends – are caring and supportive through good and bad times.
Homelessness can create or exacerbate all kinds of medical, psychological and social challenges that need to be addressed for young people to get back on their feet.
Young people experiencing homelessness often need extra support – like transportation assistance, tutoring, and mentoring – to stay in school and find and keep jobs.
FYSB and its federal partners are working to end youth homelessness by 2020. Here’s how you can join us:
Join the conversation and spread the word on social media, encouraging your community to #EndYouthHomelessness. Here are some sample messages to get you started:
Learn what youth homelessness is – and isn’t – to help #EndYouthHomelessness http://youthhomelessness.acf.hhs.gov DYK there's a 24/7 hotline for runaway & #homelessyouth? Learn more in this new @FYSBgov PSA http://bit.ly/20epuYi Learn more about FYSB grantees working to #EndYouthHomelessness: http://1.usa.gov/1DhIaKb