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Factors Associated with Prolonged Youth Homelessness

Publication Date

Organizations can use their resources more efficiently to reduce and end prolonged youth homelessness if they know who they are trying to serve, and the issues that these youth face.This brief aims to summarize factors associated with prolonged episodes of homelessness among youth.

We found that youth who experience prolonged homelessness also face greater challenges than many of their peers; greater involvement with the child welfare and criminal justice systems; histories of child maltreatment; higher rates of substance use and mental health challenges; higher rates of dropping out of school; higher rates of unemployment and informal work; and unstable housing and living situations. Significant additional research is needed on this population, including whether the factors identified help cause, or result from, prolonged homelessness among youth.