September 11, 2013

Homeless Teens


For some teens, worrying about a pop quiz or school cliques isn’t nearly as important as finding a warm meal and a place to sleep at night. Homelessness among teens is more common than many are aware — 1.6 million children and teens experience homelessness each year.

That means one in three people without homes are under 18-years-old.

Why are teens leaving home? A recent Stanford study that looked at homeless families included interviews with 50 homeless teens found that 92% of those youth came from broken homes. Half of the teens interviewed by a student researcher helping with the study reported alcoholism in the household they left and forty percent reported drug abuse in the home.

Some other factors that led teens to runaway or forced them from their homes include the disturbing statistics that 56% of teens reported physical abuse and 38% reported sexual abuse in their families. For others, the economy, unemployment, increase in home foreclosures and lack of health insurance may also have contributed to homelessness.

Thankfully, there are resources to help children and adolescents. For example, the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act protects the educational rights of homeless children and adolescents. There are 15 programs across the country to help youth continue their education and have shelter to eventually escape poverty. And, according to the Stanford study, many homeless teens are willing to accept help like food, work, shelter, counseling, etc. as long as there are no strings attached.

“Street teens were interested in obtaining assistance, but they were reluctant to make lasting commitments to get such help,” the researchers said. “Almost no street teens expressed an interest in family re-unification or residential placement.”

Understand more about homelessness, check out useful resources and watch one teen turn tragedy to triumph, in “Homeless to Harward” below.

Homeless Teens

Gain perspective about homelessness in the U.S. and find out how teens are affected.

Gain perspective about homelessness in the U.S. and find out how teens are affected.

A look at the growing number of teens who are without homes.


Steven Fabian spent the night with a group of teens who wanted to find out ...


One L.A. teen has his mind set.


What an on-campus homeless shelter is teaching students.

10 comments on “Homeless Teens

  1. Tom-Minor

    Being homeless at any age would be very traumatic. Kids deserve to start out life with parent(s) who will love, protect, and teach them to discover a good life.

  2. Mercedes Mason

    Being homeless is not fun because you really don’t have anything to do or live and i have a couple of friends that are homeless and they tell me that they don’t have anywhere to sleep and their parents wont let them come back home so i give them money and my brother lets them stay the night and we help them find a job.

  3. Thomas S.

    I would hate to be homeless because I can’t sand being away from my family and Iv’e
    heard of all kinds of killer deseases if I am homeless I cant protect my self so I feel bad
    for all the homeless teens.


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