Welcome to the California Homeless Youth Project

Recent Posts

October 20, 2011

California Runaway and Homeless Youth Month November 2011

October 12, 2011

Ending Wage Garnishment for Homeless Youth

July 20, 2011

Assembly Select Committee Holds Hearing on Homeless Youth

May 31, 2011

Assembly Bill Addresses the Issue of Wage Garnishment for Homeless Youth

May 23, 2011

New Web Series Featuring Homeless Youth

May 9, 2011

LGBTQ Homeless Youth Round-Up

May 4, 2011

Blog for the Homeless Youth Project

April 14, 2011

Three-Part Series on Youth Homelessness

April 4, 2011

Transgender Youth in Group Care Settings: New report tells service providers what they need to know

March 23, 2011

Regulating Emergency Youth Shelters

March 7, 2011

New Short Report on LGBTQ Homeless Youth from the HYP

February 22, 2011

Challenging Stereotypes of Homeless Youth in the Media

February 7, 2011

UPDATE: Summary of Programs Serving California’s Homeless Youth is Now Available

January 25, 2011

A Policy Agenda to Address California’s Homeless Youth

January 18, 2011

How do the demographics of California’s homeless youth population compare to the rest of the nation?

January 4, 2011

Internet Use in the Homeless Youth Community

December 27, 2010

Get Involved with Sacramento’s Homeless Count

December 13, 2010

New Data on Homeless Youth in Hollywood, California

December 6, 2010

Vulnerable Youth Given Greater Access to Mental Health Treatment

November 29, 2010

Slipping Through the Cracks – Invisible Homeless Youth in San Jose

November 22, 2010

New State Funding for Homeless Youth Housing

November 15, 2010

Sleeping on the Bus - and Other Stories from a Formerly Homeless Youth

November 9, 2010

Counting Homeless Youth

November 1, 2010

One Youth’s Reflection on Aging-Out of Foster Care

HYP Blog - Voices from the Street

How do the demographics of California’s homeless youth population compare to the rest of the nation?

The Covenant House Institute recently released their report, A National Picture of Youth Homelessness, describing the characteristics of youth served across the country by Covenant House, the largest provider of services to homeless and at-risk youth. The key findings of this report highlight the experiences of violence, histories of foster care and institutional placement, unemployment, and mental health issues that these youth face.

California’s Covenant House (in Los Angeles) differed from the rest of the country in terms of demographics in the homeless youth population in a number of ways. Namely, California served a higher proportion of males (69% vs. a national average of 54%). California’s homeless youth were also more likely to report having stayed in another shelter prior to coming to Covenant House (24% vs. 11% national average) or incarceration (10% vs. 3% national average). The authors note that these results likely speak to differences in emergency shelter options and incarceration rates for youth in LA. Homeless youth in CA reported significantly lower rates of sexual abuse (15% vs. 26% national average). However, other California studies have found rates more similar to the national average. California’s homeless youth were also significantly less likely to report a history of arrest (30% vs. 51% national average), but were more likely to report currently being on probation or parole (8% vs. 5% national average). Homeless youth across the country had incredibly high rates of unemployment, with a 79% national average. California’s rate was marginally less at 70%, but was still significantly higher than the 2008 U.S. Census rate of unemployment for 18-24 year olds (12%). California’s homeless youth were in greater need of a high school diploma or GED, 71% report not having completed high school compared to the 59% national average.

This report also includes a variety of policy recommendations as well as recommendations for future research on this population. As we move forward in the effort to end youth homelessness, it is important we take into consideration the unique characteristics of homeless youth in our state. 

Posted January 18, 2011