Homeless Youth Count Survey
Our survey was conducted over a period of 6 months and the complete findings will be released within the month. Here are a few of the youth statistics we were able to calculate.
33% were out of the home before their 18th birthday.
One-third of youth surveyed were kicked out, ran away or left home voluntarily before their 18th birthday.
Only 12% of respondents reported involvement with foster care as a youth. These numbers confirm the significant numbers of youth that have left the home before age 18 seen at service providers. These youth are disconnected from traditional child welfare systems such as schools and Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS).
5% of respondents reported aging out of the foster care system at 18. In many cases, youth who are in foster care, turn 18 and are “signed out” of DFCS custody, are no longer able to receive benefits. Many times, this group also lacks the life skills needed to live independently and are unaware they can sign back into DFCS until age 21 to receive assistance and support.
Another 1% of respondents report being kicked out of the home after age 18.
Domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness affect homeless youth.
Over 20% of survey respondents indicated drug abuse within the last year. Approximately 15% of youth had experienced domestic violence in the last year.
Women are more likely to be homeless
Of the homeless youth surveyed across GA, 56% were female and 44% were male. Older adult, unaccompanied homeless populations are generally male, while heads of homeless families tend to be female.
African-American youth are more likely to be homeless.
The majority, 62%, of homeless youth surveyed were African-American and almost one third of youth surveyed were Caucasian/White. The number of youth who identified as Asian and American Indian was 1% and the number who identified as multi-racial was 5%.
90% of homeless youth surveyed are between the ages of 19-24 years old.
Younger youth are more difficult to find since they are more likely to move from place to place or “couch-surf” with friends and family or prefer to remain unidentified. Many of survey respondents had a history of homelessness and reported being kicked out of the home or running away before the age of 18.
Many homeless youth have children or a younger sibling with them.
36% of respondents reported having a family member with them on the night of the Point in Time Count. 69% of these family members were children. Interestingly, 9% of respondents reported being with their siblings on the night of the Point in Time Count.
Seventy-eight % of homeless youth surveyed were unemployed.
Only 22% of respondents reported full or part time employment. When asked the reasons for unemployment, lack of job skills and lack of a GED or high school diploma were most often listed. In Georgia, according to the National Center on Family Homelessness, less than 25%of homeless youth will receive a high school diploma.