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.