Youth Homelessness Is A Social Problem

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The Problem
Youth homelessness is a social problem that has affected the United States for centuries. Children of all ages, ethnicities, and sexual orientations can be found living on the streets year-round. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, there are one million homeless youth (2014). Many youth experience homelessness for numerous reasons and may partake in dangerous and reckless behaviors to survive. Youth homelessness can be put into distinct categories such as homeless families with children, runaways, and foster children. Many families that struggle with finding and keeping stable jobs, finding affordable housing, and having health insurance are at risk for homelessness. Regardless of the situations that cause the
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There are children of all ages who will devise and execute a plan to run away from home. The reasons for running away from home include neglect, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and substance abuse by parents or other family members. Some parents may even kick their children out of their homes because of their children’s sexual orientation, not being able to support their mental health and disability needs, and the parents not having the adequate resources to take care of them (National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016). A large number of foster youth will experience homelessness when transitioning from homes or when they age out, approaching the age of 18 where they can no longer stay at a foster youth home. There are many foster youths that do not have the support needed to help guide them into leading an independent life after leaving the system when turning 18 (Hyde, 2005). Homeless youth can be found everywhere in the United States, especially in major cities. There are approximately 1.3 million youth in the United States living on the streets, abandoned buildings, and with other homeless strangers (National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016). Countless homeless youth go from one friend’s house to another before they wind up living on the streets. Many children run away from home before the age of 18 and rely on community services to help them survive (Raleigh-DuRoff, 2004). Despite having resources available to them, many homeless youths are unaware of them or do not take advantage of them. Many of these children will stay on the streets where they are vulnerable to a myriad of issues. Homeless youth are at risk for sexual assault, physical abuse, substance abuse, drug problems, and mental health disorders. Many youths are already affected by or will experience mental health problems that may worsen

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