Homeless Youth

The Homeless Youth Advocacy Project

Homeless Youth:

A Growing Epidemic

 In the United State there are approximately 1.6 million homeless youth each year

 More than 200,000 children (12-17)
experience homelessness each year in


The Cause
The cause of youth homelessness is most often correlated with :  physical or sexual abuse occurring in the home  Conflict with parents (GLBT youth are most vulnerable and comprise 11-35% of homeless youth population)

 “aging out” of the foster care system with limited
or no resources available

Mental Health Effects to Youth Who Are Homeless
High risk of mental health problems
High risk of suicide attempts High risk of PTSD High risk of victimization High risk or “deviant” behaviors High risk of prostitution & drug dealing

The Issue: Homeless Youth “Aging Out”
 1/4 of street youth (Hollywood & SF) spent their first night in a shelter or on the streets  80% of homeless youth in Los Angeles are

unsheltered every night due to inadequate
resources (beds available)  45 % of homeless youth in L.A. are turned away from shelters or transitional housing programs due to inadequate resources

What Could Help? SB123: The California Runaway and Homeless Youth Act
 Assist California in leveraging existing federal funds  Declare homeless, runaway, and exploited youth a priority, special needs population deserving of state policy attention and intervention  Determine the statewide demand for shelter, housing, and supportive services

 Identify data and outcome measures from which to evaluate
public investment in homeless youth services

More on SB123: The California Runaway and Homeless Youth Act
 Name the California Emergency Management Agency as the responsible state agency which will administratively interpret and lead efforts under the Act  Ensure an open planning process that will engage stakeholders statewide, including homeless youth, parents, homeless youth providers, advocates, researchers and representatives of

relevant State agencies
 Outcome: Did Not Pass

Fact Sheet
 Despite the more than 200,000 (12-17) homeless in California, the State has no clear and coordinated policy to reduce youth homelessness  The cost of youth homelessness to the State of California is considerable  Youth and young adults experiencing homelessness are more likely to be arrested and incarcerated as adults, costing California taxpayers over $50,000 per inmate annually  California’s Emergency Management Agency operates with a limited budget ($365,000 annually) and has no clear mandate or vision

Advocacy Map Problem/ Issue: In California, there are more than 200,000 unaccompanied children (age 12 to 17) experiencing homelessness each year. However, the State has no clear and coordinated policy to reduce youth homelessness. Desire Outcome: To create community awareness about the staggering numbers of homeless youth in California. Due to increased awareness, support will be generated from agencies and community members that we will be willing to sign petitions and to contact the senate in order to help produce a new policy. The final desired outcome is that a bill, similar to SB 123 will be proposed and then passed. Ultimate Social Justice Related Outcomes: Due to the bill being passed, research will be conducted in order to determine the type of services that need to be implemented, which will then reduce homelessness. among youth. Short Term MediumTerm Ultimate Social Justice Related Resources Tasks Outcomes Outcomes Long Term Outcomes outcomes for society Define the issue and Research about homeless who is affected by MSW students youth the issue Create a plan Implement plan Send letter to the CA. Contact the agencies Senate, which will show Research California and inform them Write a letter that these to the Senate that voters agencies already working about bill/ how they agencies can sign in want a new policy like SB MSW students with home less youth. can help. order to show support 123. MSW Students/ CSUN Get permission from IRB in order to be able to film video Obtain release forms. Contact SUFK and make Complete video that an appointment to utilizes the personal story begin filming of homeless youth. Use video to raise SB 123 is brought back to the Edit and create a video awareness and to show senate and helps homeless with facts and youth to the Senate along with youth, which reduces crimes that are actually the letters of support and the total $ tax payers impacted by the issue. from agencies spend Community members Community members that learn about the issue will become more will be directed to SB 123 is recreated and passed, aware and have access contact the Senators which then provides services to information regarding office to ask reinstate SB and reduces homelessness how they can help. 123. among youth. SB 123 is recreated and passed, which then provides services and reduces homelessness

Get permission from agency to interview Stand Up for homeless youth at drop in Kids center Create a facebook and a powerpoint to post on Scrib'd that discusses SB MSW students 123 and provides and social information for the Media community. MSW Students and Community Create a petition to bring members back SB 123

Go to center and interview the youth on video.
Facebook page and power point will be posted and collectively shared on the internet. Community members will sign petition.

Petition will demonstrate support

Send petition to the Senate

Advocacy Project
Raise awareness to create a new bill similar to SB123 Created a facebook page and petition to support SB 123 Created a letter that was sent to agencies to sign in support of the creation and need for a new bill Sent letters and petitions to Senate Committee on Human Services asking them to create a new policy, similar to SB


Toro, P. A., Dworsky, A., Fowler, P. J. (2007). Homeless youth in the United States: Recent research findings and intervention approaches. Presented at the National Symposium on Homelessness Research. Retrieved online: http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/homelessness/symposium07/toro/#Homeless Boesky, L. M., Toro, P. A., & Wright, K. L. (1995, November). Maltreatment in a probability sample of homeless adolescents: A subgroup comparison. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association, San Diego, CA. Clark, R., & Robertson, M. J. (1996). Surviving for the moment: A report on homeless youth in San Francisco. Berkeley: Alcohol Research Group. Clark, R., & Robertson, M. J. (1996). Surviving for the moment: A report on homeless youth in San Francisco. Berkeley: Alcohol Research Group. Cochran, B. N., Stewart, A. J., Ginzler, J. A., & Cauce, A. M. (2002). Challenges faced by homeless sexual minorities: Comparison of gay, lesbian, and transgender homeless adolescents with their heterosexual counterparts. American Journal of Public Health, 92, 773-777. Cutting the cost of Homelessness. (2006). Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/2006/08/25/us-homeless-aid-cx_np_0828oxford.html Gwadz, M. V., Gostnell, K., Smolenski, C., Willis, B., Nish, D., Nolan, T. C., Tharaken,M., & Ritchie, A. S.. (2008). The initiation of Homeless youth in the street economy. Journal of Adolescence. (32)2. 357-377.

References, Cont.
Lindblom, E. N. (1996). Preventing homelessness. In J. Baumohl (Ed.), Homelessness in America (pp. 187-200). Phoenix: Oryx. Kruks, G. (1991). Gay and lesbian homeless/street youth: Special issues and concerns. Journal of Adolescent Health, 12, 515-518. Robertson, M. J. (1989). Homeless youth in Hollywood: Patterns of alcohol use. Report to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (No. C51). Berkeley, CA: Alcohol Research Group. Robertson, M. J., & Toro, P. A. (1999). Homeless youth: Research, intervention, and policy. In L. B. Fosburg & D. L. Dennis (Eds.), Practical lessons: The 1998 National Symposium on Homelessness Research (pp. 3-1-3-32). Washington DC: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Ryan, K. D., Kilmer, R. P., & Cauce, A. M., Watanabe, H., & Hoyt, D. R. (2000). Psychological consequences of child maltreatment in homeless adolescents: Untangling the unique effects of maltreatment and family environment. Child Abuse & Neglect 24(3): 333-352. Tenner, A. D., Trevithick, L. A., Wagner, V., & Burch, R. (1998). Seattle YouthCare's prevention, intervention and education program: A model of care for HIV-positive, homeless, and at-risk youth. Journal of Adolescent Health, 23, 96-106.

References, Cont.
Toro, P. A., Wolfe, S. M., Bellavia, C. W., Thomas, D. M., Rowland, L. L., Daeschler, C. V., & McCaskill, P. A. (1999). Obtaining representative samples of homeless persons: A two-city study. Journal of Community Psychology, 27, 157-178. Toro, P. A., & Goldstein, M. S. (2000, August). Outcomes among homeless and matched housed adolescents: A longitudinal comparison. Presented at the 108th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Washington, DC. Tyler, K., Whitbeck, L., Hoyt, D., & Cauce, A. (2004). Risk factors for sexual victimization among male and female homeless and runaway youth. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 19(5), 503-520. Tyler, K. A., Hoyt, D. R., Whitbeck, L. B., & Cauce, A. M. (2001). The impact of childhood sexual abuse on later sexual victimization among runaway youth. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 11, 151-176. Owen, G., Heineman, J., Minton, C., Lloyd, B., Larsen, P., & Zierman, C. (1998). Minnesota statewide survey of persons without permanent shelter: Vol. II, Unaccompanied youth. St. Paul, MN: Wilder Foundation. Van Leeuwen, J. (2002, September). Drug and alcohol survey results: Homeless and runaway youth. Denver, CO: Urban Peak/ARTS Collaborative: Author. Whitbeck, L. B., Hoyt, D. R., Johnson, K. D., Berdahl, T. A., & Whiteford, S. W. (2002). Midwest longitudinal study of homeless adolescents. Baseline report for all participating agencies. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska, Department of Sociology. Whitbeck, L. B., Hoyt, D. R., & Ackley, K. A. (1997). Abusive family backgrounds and victimization among runaway and homeless adolescents. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 7, 375-392.