A social issue
- There are approximately 1.7 million homeless teens in the U.S.
- 39 percent of the homeless population is young people under 18.
- About 75 percent of homeless teens use drugs or alcohol as a means to self-medicate to deal with the traumatic experiences and abuse they face.
- 5,000 young people die every year because of assault, illness, or suicide while on the street.
- A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study found that 46 percent of homeless youth left their home because of physical abuse. 17 percent left because of sexual abuse.
- Approximately 40 percent of homeless teens identify as LGBT.
- Over 50 percent of young people in shelters and on the streets report that their parents told them to leave or knew they were leaving and didn’t care.
- The average age a teen becomes homeless is 14.7 years.
- 1 in 7 young people between the ages of 10 and 18 will run away.
- Teens age 12 to 17 are more likely to become homeless than adults.
- HIV rates for homeless young people are 2 to 10 times higher than reported rates for other samples of adolescents in the U.S.