12 Facts about Homeless Teens

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1)  Each year, an estimated 4.2 million youth and young adults experience homelessness, of which 700,000 are unaccompanied minors, meaning they are not part of a family or accompanied by a parent or guardian. On any given night, approximately 41,000 unaccompanied youth ages 13-25 experience homelessness.


2)  29% of homeless youth report having substance misuse problems.


3) 60% of houseless youth have experienced physical abuse at home before ending up on the streets.


4)  69% of homeless youth report mental health problems.


5)  33% had once been part of the foster care system.


6) 50% of homeless youth have been in the juvenile justice system, in jail or detention.


7) 20-40% of homeless youth experience sexual abuse, compared to 1-3% of the general youth population.


8)  The lack of a high school diploma or General Equivalency Diploma (GED) is the number one correlate for elevated risk of youth homelessness.


9) While the numbers are shocking, it’s even more disturbing to learn over 50% of young people report that their parents actually told them to leave, or at least knew they were leaving and didn’t care.


10)  The main cause of teen homelessness is physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse from parents or guardians. Here’s a closer look at the numbers:

• 46% reported being physically abused
• 38% reported being emotionally abused
• 17% reported being forced into unwanted sexual activity


11)  In America today, over 20,000 kids are forced into prostitution every year, and 5,000 unaccompanied youth die as a result of assault, illness, or suicide.


12)  One in 10 young adults ages 18-25, and at least one in 30 adolescents ages 13-17, experience some form of homelessness unaccompanied by a parent or guardian over the course of a year.