Teen Homelessness in America
Anthony Clary Liberty University
Dr. Alicia Adkins
September 29, 2013
Evidence has shown that teen homeless across America is ongoing and impacts youth of all cultures and backgrounds. There are millions of youth that are homeless in the United States. The typical ages of homeless youth are eighteen and younger. In America the average youth becomes homeless by age fourteen (www.safehorizon.com). Youth can become homeless for a number of reasons e.g. finances, verbal and physical abuse, pregnancy, sexual orientation, mental illness and neglect. Many youth and young adults have also become homeless due to aging out of foster care services. Youth
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“However, little research has systematically examined the onset, frequency, and duration of homelessness in this group” (Fowler, Toro, & Miles, 2009, p1). “The absence of adequate assessments of housing problems and related negative outcomes limits the possibilities for policy and programmatic interventions in an already-vulnerable population” (Fowler, Toro, & Miles, 2009, p1). However there have been acts passed that would allow the funding of housing stability for adolescents exiting the foster care system (Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 (FCIA; HR 3443). “Although additional funds can be used to provide adolescents with a wide range of services intended to prevent homelessness, most states opt not to do so, and therefore they fail to draw federal dollars to support such initiatives” (Fowler, Toro, & Miles, 2009 p.1). Research has provided evidence that community dynamics play an intricate role in development and strength of a mental health disorder in an individual’s life. The parting or separation of parents, divorce or separation, economic matters, and seclusion are leading influences homelessness youth with a mental illness. Nonetheless, its undercurrents can be reduce or eliminated with impact of a structured and compassionate community atmosphere. As of late many agencies and programs are permitting persons to obtain housing before obtaining sobriety.