The words, “There is no place like home” from the Wizard of Oz, have never been truer than for a child who is homeless. Homeless youth, sometimes referred to as “unaccompanied” youth, are individuals under the age of 18 who lack parental, foster, or institutional care. Here are some of the facts:
- Between 1.6 and 2.8 million youth runaway and/or are homeless in a year.
- 5% to 7% of American youth become homeless in any given year.
- Youth ages 12 to 17 are more at risk of homelessness than adults.
- Homeless youth are evenly male-female, although females are more likely to seek help through shelters and hotlines.
- Between 6 and 22% of homeless girls are estimated to be pregnant.
- 46% of runaway and homeless youth reported being physically abused; 38% reported being emotionally abused; 1.7% reported being forced into unwanted sexual activity by a family or household member.
- 75% of homeless or runaway youth have dropped out or will drop out of school.
- Between 20% and 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBT.
Please watch the following (under two minute) YouTube video for more information about child homelessness in Wisconsin.