There were roughly 3,000 youth in DC who were homelessness last year. All of them deserve safe homes. But how do young people who are homeless rank their own needs?And what has been their experience in trying to address these needs?
In 2013, the University of Nebraska conducted a study of 60 homeless youth who we reached through street outreach or who were living in our shelter or transitional facilities. Their perception of what they need, and the challenges they’ve experienced is breath-taking.
Some notable findings include:
Youth identified their top 3 service needs as, in order:
1. Job training or help finding a job
2. A safe place to stay
3. Help with education
And they identified their top 3 barriers to shelter as, in order:
1. Didn’t know where to go for shelter (which begs the need for funds for street-based outreach)
2. The shelter was full (begs need for increased shelter capacity)
3. Participant felt embarrassed.
But that is just a sample….there is a lot more in this important report. Read it here
The methodology was focus groups and questionnaires completed by homeless youth from March through September of last year. This report is not about “outcomes.” Rather, it is a rigorous analysis which should be used for advocacy, and as a tool for predicting particular behaviors. Share it with other through your social networks.
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