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HYP Logo CA Homeless Youth Project
900 N St, Suite 300
P.O. Box 942837
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 653-7843
cahomelessyouth.library.ca.gov
January Newsletter Update

2011 Research Round-Up
To ring in the new year, the California Homeless Youth Project has chosen 10 of the most compelling publications concerning homeless youth to come across our desks in 2011. These publications include research articles, policy briefs, and model plans to end youth homelessness. Click the links below to view a short summary, listed in chronological order:
  1. Programs Serving California's Homeless Youth: Results of Point-in-Time Survey
  2. Struggling to Survive: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning Youth on the Streets of California.
  3. Family Matters: Homeless Youth & Eva's Initiative's Family Reconnect Program.
  4. Plan to End Youth Homelessness in Calgary.
  5. The Runaway Youth Longitudinal Study.
  6. The Heterogeneity of Homeless Youth in America: Examining Typologies.
  7. Improving Federal Collaboration for Homeless Children and Youth.
  8. Maine' s Plan to End and Prevent Homelessness.
  9. Young Adult Outcomes of Youth Exiting Dependent or Delinquent Care in Los Angeles County.
  10. America's Youngest Outcasts 2010.
About The HYP
The California Homeless Youth Project (HYP) is a non-partisan research and policy initiative of the California Research Bureau that highlights the issues and challenges faced by young people who are homeless or lack stable housing. For more information, please see our website.
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1. Programs Serving California's Homeless Youth: Results of Point-in-Time Survey. By The California Homeless Youth Project (January 2011). (By County) (By Legislative District)
Only 53 programs throughout the state of California such as street outreach and transitional living programs are designed specifically to respond to unaccompanied, non-systems affiliated, homeless youth. Furthermore, 2/3rds of California's counties have no services at all. This report indicates that there is a significant gap between the number of programs serving unaccompanied homeless youth, and the number of youth in need of services and supports to get off the street and into safe, stable, permanent housing.
2. Struggling to Survive: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning Youth on the Streets of California. By Shahera Hyatt, California Homeless Youth Project (March 2011).
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth represent between 5 and 10 percent of the general youth population, yet make up between 15 to 40 percent of the homeless youth population. They are often kicked out of their homes due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. LGBT youth are more likely to be physically and sexually abused, and experience trauma both at home prior to being kicked out and once they are on the streets. It is recommended that homeless youth service providers create safe spaces for these youth, and make efforts to provide family counseling or mediation in order to reconnect the youth to their family of origin where possible.
3. Family Matters: Homeless Youth & Eva's Initiative's Family Reconnect Program. By Daphne Winland et al, The Homeless Hub (April 2011).
Findings: Reconnecting families is essential to responding effectively to youth homelessness. Prevention and early intervention techniques such as family mediation should be incorporated into systems-level responses to youth homelessness. Recommendations are made for all levels of the Canadian government to create a plan to end youth homelessness with strategies that focus on prevention and family reconnection.
4. Plan to End Youth Homelessness in Calgary. By the Calgary Homeless Foundation (June 2011).
This plan employs multi-layered goals and strategies to end youth homelessness. The three primary strategies of this plan include building a coordinated system to ensure that no youths are discharged from systems into homelessness; developing an adequate number of housing units and supportive homes dedicated to youth at risk of or experiencing homelessness; and improving data systems knowledge by implementing a Homeless Management Information System that considers youth-specific needs and services.
5. The Runaway Youth Longitudinal Study. By Jennifer Benoit-Bryan, National Runaway Switchboard (September 2011).
This panel study spanning 15 years examines the characteristics of kids who run away from home and the long term impacts of runaway behavior on key outcomes in adulthood including increased odds of suicide attempts, smoking as an adult, and having an STD. Formerly homeless adults will see lower lifetime earnings, be more likely to have someone in their household who is a recipient of government aid, and be less likely to have a high school diploma. "The results of this study offer compelling evidence that running away from home as an adolescent is correlated with important health, economic and juvenile justice outcomes in adulthood."
6. The Heterogeneity of Homeless Youth in America: Examining Typologies. By Paul Toro et al, National Alliance to End Homelessness (September 2011).
This report recommends a method for identifying targeted intervention practices for homeless youth based on sub-categories of homeless experiences to better understand homeless youth populations. These sub-categories, (1) transient but connected; (2) high-risk; and (3) low-risk, are based on empirical data gathered on a number of key characteristics of homeless youth during mid-adolescence. Males were more likely to be in the high and low-risk groups, whereas girls were more likely to be in the transient but connected group.
7 . Improving Federal Collaboration for Homeless Children and Youth. By the National Center on Family Homelessness, et al. (November 2011).
Building on successful examples of government collaboration, it is recommended that civic engagement should be increased through the use of wraparound support services in communities and schools. In addition, stable and affordable housing should be accessible through comprehensive housing support, with increased economic security through partnerships for workforce development. Health and stability can be improved by supporting early childhood education, child welfare, and mental health. Lastly, the homeless crisis response system should be better coordinated to address the needs of unaccompanied homeless youth.
8. Maine's Plan to End and Prevent Homelessness. By the Statewide Homeless Council and Regional Homeless Councils (November 2011).
Maine has successfully incorporated the subset of unaccompanied homeless youth into their state's plan to end homelessness. This plan addresses the unique needs of the transition-aged youth population and focuses on family reunification. Recommendations include ensuring services from "emergency through stability," creating safe and appropriate housing and rental subsidies for families and youth, and meeting the physical, mental, and chemical health needs of the youth in order to allow long-term stability and success.
9. Young Adult Outcomes of Youth Exiting Dependent or Delinquent Care in Los Angeles County. By Dennis Culhane et al, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. (November 2011).
"Foster care youth in Los Angeles County are faring poorly under the current system and face severe challenges in education, employment, health, mental health and earnings potential. 'Crossover youth,' involved both in foster care and juvenile justice systems, currently average triple the per-person cost of public service dollars compared with foster care-only youth, providing compelling evidence that these young adults should be targeted with housing support, education, employment services and mentoring if the county and state are to avoid a lifetime of public dependence by this highly vulnerable population." (Hilton Foundation Press Release, Nov. 1, 2011).
10. America's Youngest Outcasts 2010. By The National Center on Family Homelessness (December 2011).
California ranks 46th in a state report card on child homelessness which ranks the 50 states from best (1) to worst (50). This ranking looks at the extent of child homelessness, child well-being, risk of child homelessness, state policy and planning efforts, and offers specific policy solutions. More than 1.6 million children, or one in 45, are homeless over the course of a year in America. This represents an increase of 38% during the years impacted by the economic recession (2007 to 2010).