Facts About Homeless Youth
- The King County Committee to End Homelessness estimates that between 5,000 and 10,000 youth and young adults experience homelessness each year in King County. On January 18 2016, Count Us In volunteers surveyed at-risk youth and young adults ages 13-25 who accessed services on that day and counted 19% among them who were unstably housed and/or homeless. It is estimated that over 1,000 youth and young adults are homeless on any given night in King County. We are currently waiting on the results of the 2017 January Point-In-Time national count to update these numbers, but expect significant increases this year.
- In King County, the number of homeless students counted by school districts rose 19% between 2010-11 and 2012-13, from 5,214 to 6,188.
- Family crisis is the most prevalent reason youth and young adults identify for becoming homeless.
- Contrary to popular stereotypes, approximately 50% of homeless youth are “local kids” who are from the immediately surrounding geographic area. The rest flow from over 20 states toward the Pacific Northwest.
- 20-40% of homeless youth experience sexual abuse, compared to 1-3% of the general youth population.
- Up to 60% of homeless youth have experienced physical abuse in their homes before ending up on the streets.
- 20-50% of homeless youth have been placed in foster care or an institutional setting at some point in their life.
- Up to 40% are LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, or Questioning).
- Studies have found high rates of mental health problems among homeless youth; mental health issues manifest both as a cause and a consequence of homelessness.
- Homeless youth are remarkable young people with tremendous futures.
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