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Improving Outcomes for Homeless Youth

Authors

Colette Stanzler

Phoebe Sloane

Anne Radday

Partner

Fidelity Charitable

The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation

Published

2012

Summary

Homeless youth, also known as unaccompanied youth, are defined by the McKinney-Vento Act as “individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.” With support, housing, and training, they can become capable of living independently.

Read our Social Issue Report on Improving Outcomes for Homeless Youth which includes: an overview of the social issue, an investment recommendation, information on the return on investment, and ways to take further action.

Homeless youth are at a far higher risk than their housed peers for substance abuse issues, poor health, and unemployment. The negative effects of experiencing homelessness as a young person last a lifetime. Youth who ran away from home at least once before the age of 18 were 50 percent less likely than their housed peers to have a GED or high school diploma.

Homeless youth, also known as unaccompanied youth, are defined by the McKinney-Vento Act as “individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.” This report focuses on youth aged 15-24 who are separated from their families or guardians. They do not have serious mental health or other issues that require long-term residential care. With support, housing, and training, they can become capable of living independently.

Learn more about improving outcomes for homeless youth in Massachusetts and New York.

Check out our Guide to Giving for donors and funders interested in improving outcomes for homeless youth.

 

ABOUT SOCIAL ISSUE RESEARCH:

Social Issue Research (SIR) reports are a resource to help donors and funders learn about specific social issues affecting at-risk populations and identify high-performing organizations that are addressing those issues. Drawing on research and interviews with experts representing government, academia, nonprofits, and foundations, social issue reports provide an overview of the issue, populations affected by it, approaches to address it, and investment recommendations on how donors and funders can take action. The report is complemented by state reports that frame the issue in the local context and a method – a guide for donors – that provides criteria to evaluate organizations working to address the issue.

Table of Contents:

  • Social Issue Report Summary
  • Facts: Youth Homelessness in the United States
  • Social Issue Overview: Why Improving Outcomes for Homeless Youth Matters
  • Recommended Approach for Supporting Homeless Youth
  • Return on Investment
  • Investment Recommendation
  • Take Action