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Prolonged Youth Homelessness

The population of youth experiencing homelessness is known to be a heterogeneous group. Most youth who become homeless return to their parent(s) or guardian(s), though some experience multiple or lengthy episodes of homelessness and may face greater challenges to successfully transitioning to adulthood. Previous research on this latter group has been somewhat limited and has tended to focus only on narrow aspects of the experiences of these highest-need young people.

To help fill this gap in the research, improve outcomes for youth that experience prolonged homelessness, and assist the organizations that try to serve them, this project aims to gather in one place what is known about these youth and evidence on interventions that could help reduce prolonged youth homelessness.

In a context of shrinking resources and complex challenges facing the youth being served, it is important that program and policy approaches are grounded in evidence (Pathways for Youth: Strategic Plan for Federal Collaboration). This project identified a limited number of studies on youth experiencing prolonged homelessness, and it collects in one place the available information to help researchers identify key areas for future research to further strengthen the evidence base for supporting such program and policy efforts.

The three briefs from this project discuss what we know about: