2014 High-Risk and Homeless Youth Survey Results Released
(Springfield, MO) – Community Partnership of the Ozarks’ Continuum of Care and the Homeless Youth Subcommittee along with The Kitchen Inc. unveiled results of the 2014 High-Risk and Homeless Youth Survey during a news conference Monday at the Rare Breed Youth Services.
Findings of the report show that the number one reason youth are becoming homeless is because they are being kicked out by their parents. This reason increased from the number three spot just two years prior. Other reasons included lots of arguments at home, verbal abuse, feeling unsafe at home, and physical abuse.
“Each of these reasons indicates a family issue,” said Loni Brewer, program coordinator of the Rare Breed and chair of Community Partnership’s Continuum of Care Homeless Youth Subcommittee. “We as a community know that we have high rates of abuse and you can clearly see that if unaddressed, these issues within the family do lead to child homelessness.”
In fact, 73% of youth who had both experienced homelessness with their family and had been a victim of or witness to repeated traumas at home had been homeless on their own.
Other findings in the report show that 43% of youth responding to the survey had wondered where they would sleep that night and/or where they would get food that day. Another startling find was that 8% had been homeless on their own before the age of 13 years old. Additionally, 55% of those surveyed related being homeless to their identity as being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ).
This is the fourth survey of Springfield’s high-risk and homeless youth since 2007. Data for the report was collected and compiled by Missouri State University’s Center for Social Services and Public Policy Research. 14 agencies administered the survey, and 351 youth participated.
“Facing the Challenges of our community takes courage; the courage to learn and truly understand the issues at hand and the courage to take action,” said Michelle Garand, the Deputy Director of Affordable Housing and Homeless Prevention with Community Partnership. “The very purpose of this survey was to investigate the risk factors of becoming homeless as a child and the dangers children face once they have become homeless on the streets. Facing our Youth is a community call to action to protect our children and support their families.”
The full report can be downloaded at www.commpartnership.org/homelessyouth.