In an effort to combat the idea that homelessness affects predominantly older men, Chapin Hall, a youth policy center at the University of Chicago, served up a report that shows just how many of America's youth have experienced life without the security of a home.
One in 10 young adults aged 18 to 25 in the US have slept on the streets, in shelters, run away, been kicked out of home, or couch-surfed in the past year, according to a national survey.
The study, Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, also found that at least one in 30 adolescents aged 13-17 experienced some form of homelessness unaccompanied by a parent or guardian over the same period.
The study also found that homelessness affects youth in rural areas of the country no less than it does those in urban areas.
Young people with less than a high school diploma or GED were found to be 346% more likely to be homeless; LGBT youth had a 120% greater risk; black or African American people had an 83% greater risk; non-white Hispanics had a 33% higher risk; and unmarried parenting young people a 200% greater risk.
Young people reporting annual household income of less than $24,000 had a 162% higher risk.
Authors of the study point to economic stressors as well as personal struggles, such as trauma and unstable families, as factors underlying the results.
“Our findings probably challenge the images of homelessness. Homelessness is young,” Matthew Morton, a research fellow with the policy center, told the Washington Post. “It’s more common than people expect and it’s largely hidden.”