“When I was eighteen-years-old, I was living under a bridge.”
No youth should ever have to say these words. Unfortunately, the stats reveal that a startling number of youth in the U.S. experience homelessness:
- In 2014, 194,302 children and youth were reported homeless last year on a given night in the U.S.
- More than one in five youth become homeless after aging out of foster care at the age of eighteen.
Homeless youth are at a heightened risk for mental illness, HIV/AIDS, criminal justice involvement, and victimization. Services and programs need to be readily available so this vulnerable population is not neglected at a time when they need help the most.
Youth Count Texas!, a statewide count, is currently underway to help us capture information about homeless youth, a group that is oftentimes hidden, hard to identify, and underserved. Using the data that is collected, and real stories that provide this critical issue with a face, we will have the opportunity to take our advocacy for youth experiencing homelessness and housing instability to the next level.
In a short PSA we put together, we filmed previously homeless youth talking about their experiences. Please check it out and share its powerful message with others!
Interested in learning more? Visit Youth Count Texas! to find toolkits, resources, and ways to get involved.