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Friday, October 12, 2007

The Facts about American Youth Homelessness - a National Crisis

Each year, 3.5 million individuals are homeless in America. Children and teens total 1.3 million. All homeless youth combined make up the 6th largest city in America, a metropolis about the size of Phoenix, AZ. Becoming more aware, understanding the facts and the demographics of the homeless can motivate even the most hard-hearted to open their pockets and their hearts to this group of forgotten Americans. Consider the following:

  • This year, 1 in 8 American youth under the age of 18 will leave home and become homeless in need of charity and social services.

  • 12-17 year olds are at more risk of homelessness than are adults.

  • In 2004, child protective services agencies reported an estimated 872,000 children to be victims of child abuse or neglect.

  • 43% of homeless youth report being beaten by a caretaker.

  • 40% report being gay and abused in their schools and homes for their orientation.

  • 44% of homeless youth report that one or both of their parents had at some point received treatment for alcohol, drug, or psychological problems.

  • Almost half of homeless youth have witnessed domestic violence.

  • Nearly 93,000 people are estimated to be homeless each night in Los Angeles County - the largest homeless population in the nation for any major metropolitan area.

  • In a city with high poverty districts such as Los Angeles, one in three youth reside in a household that is below the poverty level.

  • By the time homeless children are eight years old one in three has a major mental disorder.

  • The prevalence rate for substance use disorders among homeless youth is 85%.

  • 1/3 of homeless teens have witnessed a stabbing, shooting, rape or murder.

  • Youth Homelessness Begins a Cycle of Chronic Homelessness.

  • 25% of the adult homeless population report having experienced physical and/or sexual abuse as a child from someone with whom they lived.

    More at www.myfriendsplace.org

2 comments:

Raby Savage said...

Before,I became ill, for decades I contributed large amounts of tax dollars. It astounds me that we can spend trillions for war but, to give mercy and some peace to our young people--no money?

Anonymous said...

R.S. - Welcome to the Land of the Free!