Youth Homelessness Analysis

Superior Essays
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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Youths that are most widely affected by homelessness are those with parents that have a history of substance abuse, parents who are abusive, youth with drug abuse problems, and members of the LGBTQ community. Homeless youth can be found in all parts of the country, banding together and creating their own families. Countless of them decide to leave home, because their real families do not accept them. 40% of the 1.7 million homeless youth identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, or queer (NVSR, N.D). They either are asked by their parents to leave or decide to leave to find their own freedom. These youth are at the most danger of being sexually or physically abused while living on the streets. Another subgroup of homeless youth who suffer is foster youth. Roughly, 36% of foster youth from the ages of 18-21 will experience homelessness during the transitional phase back into society (Dworsky et al, 2012). A study conducted in Los Angeles on homeless youth between 18 – 23 years old, showed that the majority claimed the reason for them leaving home had to do with conflict within the family and physical abuse (Hyde, 2005). There are many youths who decide to runaway from home, because of the way they are treated in their household. Various factors such as parental drug abuse, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, educational performance and personal style contributed to …show more content…
Many immigrants from different countries came to America to find a new life. However, not all of them were fortunate enough to be able to find a job and home. Other factors that contribute to homelessness include systemic poverty, in which generations of individuals do not have the resources or support to work their way out of poverty; as well as, natural disasters that uproot large amounts of families leaving them with no where to go (Fischer, 2011). There came a point in the mid-1600s that if parents could no longer care for their children they began to kick them out of their homes, therefore creating the first cases of youth homelessness (Fischer, 2011). Youth homeless since then has increased over the centuries. During the Great Depression, many youth were also affected by the economic downfall, but due to the overwhelming number of national homelessness there is no accurate number (Moore, N.D). The inconsistency of the numbers has only grown throughout generations. During the 1960’s, a large of middle –class teenagers who were described as runaways left their home in rebellion of their parent’s values and rules (Moore, N.D). Since the 1990’s to the present, there has a been a increase of children leaving their homes because of family

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