Today, there are roughly 2,200 unaccompanied homeless youth in the state of Connecticut. This is a largely invisible group because of their frequent couch surfing.
The federal government has made a goal to end youth homelessness by 2020, with a plan that they instituted in 2010. The main problem they run in to is counting homeless youth.
A Point In Time count is taken each year with efforts to reach these homeless youth through surveys. They are anonymous but provide important information about these youths’ housing experiences. The Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness is hoping to help increase the awareness of the needs for these persons.
.A “homeless youth” is something who has no secure ‘rights of tenancy’ Some of the youths identify as LGBT, or they’ve been in foster care, or involved with the court system, or they’ve been pregnant.
About 80 percent of these teens (ages 18-21) turn to substance abuse..
The U.S Department of Health and Human Services has a Family & Youth Services Bureau. The website includes at least six centers that can aid those who are facing this problem, including churches, shelters, and programs. Some of the grant programs funded by the government include street outreach programs, transitional living, or more specific centers such as maternity shelters or LGBTQ youth centers.
By Nikki Iannace