Report: Homeless Youth in Philadelphia

Posted by on May 20, 2013

PEC highlights youth homelessness

The People’s Emergency Center has released an analysis of data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey that highlights the prevalence and risk factors of Philadelphia high school students who have experienced homelessness.

The report shows that approximately 8% of all Philadelphia public high school students reported having experienced homelessness, and almost 11% reported that they had been kicked out, run away, or abandoned.

Youth who reported ever having been homeless and youth who had been kicked out, run away, or abandoned, showed disproportionately higher rates of physical, mental, and sexual health risk behaviors and higher rates of substance use.

The percent of youth who reported typically sleeping away from home with a parent more than doubled from 2009 to 2011. The percent of youth reporting that they typically slept away from home without a parent (“unaccompanied youth”) more than tripled in the same timeframe.

The report also showed that the percent of youth who reported being kicked out, run away, or abandoned more than doubled from 2009 to 2011.  Compared to housed youth, youth who were homeless with their families were 2.6 times more likely to be forced to have sex, over 3 times more likely to get pregnant, and 3 times more likely to have attempted suicide.

In addition to data from the YRBS, a series of key stakeholder interviews were conducted to develop a better understanding of the YRBS findings – and how they can be used to inform interventions and policies addressing the needs of youth experiencing homelessness.

The Philadelphia YRBS provided the unique data on youth homelessness in Philadelphia after advocates pressed for adding housing questions to the bi-annual survey, and has led to pressure on the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, the federal agencies leading the effort to address homelessness, to consider adding housing questions to the national survey.

For the full report on homelessness among young people in Philadelphia, go here.

For the executive summary, go here.

More in "New Resources"

Stay Current in Philly's Higher Education and Nonprofit Sector

We compile a weekly email with local events, resources, national conferences, calls for proposals, grant, volunteer and job opportunities in the higher education and nonprofit sectors.