Many youth in America don’t have a home to go to every day and night. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, there are about over one million homeless youth in the US. Pregnant, homosexual, bisexual, and transgender teens account for the highest percent of homeless youth. That isn’t really surprising because when most parents find out that their daughter is pregnant or a sexual orientation they don’t approve of, they’ll get angry or not accept it and ultimately they’ll kick them out. With the economy today a lot of teenagers don’t have jobs, so if their parents kick them out then they don’t really have a choice but to slum in the streets or if possible find a shelter. Youth homelessness has improved over the years but there are still many more ways to make it less prevalent. Although, most teens don’t experience long-term homelessness, they usually find a relative or find a way to make it on their own. The National Coalition of the Homeless says that the three major causes of homelessness are family problems, economic problems, and residential instability. None of this information is surprising because of physical and sexual abuse within families and the economy downfall and homes being foreclosed. Since most youth can’t afford to sustain themselves on their own they turn to other means to make money. Some of these ways are selling drugs and selling their body. I believe that by getting themselves involved in such risky behavior at a young age they will set themselves up for failure in the future. Most homeless youth will experience post-traumatic stress disorder and often have high anxiety and suffer from depression. Another way that homeless youth set themselves up for failure in the future is that most are unable to attend school or drop out of school all together. It’s not always easy to identify youth on the streets through typical counts of unsheltered people experiencing homelessness. Homeless youth are less likely to spend time in the same places as homeless people who are in an older age range. They are often less willing to disclose that they’re experiencing homelessness or may not even identify as homeless. They also may work harder to try to blend in with peers who aren’t homeless. The Alliance estimates that during a year approximately 550,000 unaccompanied, single youth and young adults up to age 24 experience a homelessness episode of longer than one week. Approximately 380,000 of those youth are under the age of 18 (National Alliance to End Homelessness). Youth homelessness as I see it is almost an epidemic. If a child or teen doesn’t know how to survive on their own the choice to run away or simply leave because of family problems, economic troubles or residential stability can almost be fatal. “They’re not getting the care they would get at home or in a shelter, they’re getting little or not care at all. Everyone needs some place to call their home” (Homeless). Homelessness among youth in the U.S. is disturbingly common. There is no typical homeless youth, and there is no single cause for youth homelessness. Youth who experience homelessness and have varied explanations for why they become homeless in the first place or why they may remain so. Yet, it is difficult to determine the degree to which any particular characteristic or experience might be a primary cause or a contributing factor to youth homelessness. On the contrary, gender and age, race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, family poverty, family conflict and abuse and emotional and mental problems are usually common in homeless youth. Youth consistently report family conflict as the primary reason for their homelessness. Sources of conflict vary but include conflicts with parents over a youth's relationship with a step-parent, sexual activity and sexual orientation, pregnancy, school problems, and alcohol and drug use (Heineman, G., Owen). Neglect and physical or sexual abuse in the home are also common experiences....
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