Homelessness, Reports and Publications, Supportive Housing

Philadelphia Offers Model for Understanding Homeless Youth Risk Behavior

People’s Emergency Center

A new report highlights the results of a Youth Risk Behavior Survey and the potential for the survey’s methodology to be used as a model in other communities. The report, Homeless Youth in Philadelphia, published by People’s Emergency Center details findings from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS).

The YRBS largely focuses on risk behaviors ranging from smoking to symptoms of depression, but in 2009, three questions related to housing were added to the Philadelphia YRBS:

  • Where do you typically sleep at night?
  • During the past 30 days, did you live away from your parents because you were kicked out, ran away, were abandoned, or removed from your parents?
  • Have you ever considered yourself to be homeless?

The survey was administered among Philadelphia public high school students in 2009 and 2011. Its findings allowed the city to better understand the extent to which youth are experiencing homelessness and how to address the system needs of this very unique and “invisible” population.

Additionally, the report’s methodology serves as one potential model for other communities to follow in their attempts to uncover the challenges faced by teens who lack housing stability and inform the development of an age-appropriate housing and service delivery system.

To download the report, click here


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