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National Clearinghouse on Homeless Youth and Families

Homelessness

Poverty, Homelessness, Hunger in Children, and Adolescents: Psychosocial Perspectives.

Poverty, Homelessness, Hunger in Children, and Adolescents: Psychosocial Perspectives.
Abstract

Poverty, hunger, and homelessness have been shown to be perhaps the greatest adverse biological and
social risk factors for mental health problems and disorders worldwide. They also have significant
adverse impact on cognitive, psychological, psychosocial, and physical development in children
and youth. This article reviews the psychosocial effects of poverty, hunger, and homelessness on
children and youth, including their impact on psychopathology and mental health. It also includes
recommendations for governmental entities, advocates, and care providers on mitigating their adverse
effects.

Authors
Pumariega, A.J., Gogineni, R.R., & Benton, T.
Type new
Journal Article
Journal Name

World Social Psychiatry

Volume new
4
Year published new
2022

Assessing Homelessness and Incarceration Among Youth Aging Out of Foster Care, by Type of Disability.

Assessing Homelessness and Incarceration Among Youth Aging Out of Foster Care, by Type of Disability.
Abstract

Youth in foster care are at greater risk of incarceration and homelessness as they age out of care and transition to adulthood. Prior studies have shown that multiple placements, childhood trauma, race and ethnicity, and educational attainment are associated with these adverse outcomes. However, few studies have examined the prevalence and risk factors of incarceration and homelessness among youth in foster care with disabilities as they age out and transition into adulthood. Using data from the 2014 cohort of the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) and Adoption and Foster Care Analysis Reporting System (AFCARS), this study examines the prevalence of incarceration and homelessness by disability type at age 17, and how risk factors are related to incarceration and homelessness at ages 19 and 21. Findings show that youth in foster care with emotional disabilities are more likely to experience homelessness and incarceration, but this association was not robust in multivariate models. On the other hand, those with a physical or intellectual/developmental disability have lower odds of homelessness. Employment and school enrollment are associated with a lower risk of homelessness and incarceration, regardless of disability type. These results suggest that disaggregating youth in foster care by type of disability is necessary to provide specific recommendations to improve and target resources and supports for these vulnerable youth as they age out of foster care and transition to adulthood.

Authors
Lee, J.S., Gimm, G., Mohindroo, M. & Lever, L.
Type new
Journal Article
Journal Name

Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

Year published new
2022

Mental Illness and Youth-Onset Homelessness: A Retrospective Study among Adults Experiencing Homelessness.

Mental Illness and Youth-Onset Homelessness: A Retrospective Study among Adults Experiencing Homelessness.
Abstract

Financial challenges, social and material instability, familial problems, living conditions, structural issues, and mental health problems have been shown to contribute to youth homelessness. Based on the paucity of literature on mental illness as a reason for youth homelessness, the current study retrospectively evaluated the association between the timing of homelessness onset (youth versus adult) and mental illness as a reason for homelessness among homeless adults living in homeless shelters and/or receiving services from homeless-serving agencies. Homeless participants (N = 919; 67.3% men) were recruited within two independent studies from Dallas and Oklahoma. Covariate-adjusted logistic regressions were used to measure associations between homelessness onset and mental illness as a reason for current homelessness, history of specific mental illnesses, the historical presence of severe mental illness, and severe mental illness comorbidity. Overall, 29.5% of the sample reported youth-onset homelessness and 24.4% reported mental illness as the reason for current homelessness. Results indicated that mental illness as a reason for current homelessness, history of specific mental illnesses, Schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder, history of severe mental illness, and severe mental illness comorbidities were each associated with increased odds of youth-onset homelessness. A better understanding of these relationships could inform needs for early interventions and/or better prepare agencies that serve at-risk youth to address precursors to youth homelessness.

Authors
Iwundu, C.N., Chen, T.-A., Edereka-Great, K., Businelle, M.S., Kendzor, D.E., & Reitzel, L.R.
Type new
Journal Article
Journal Name

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Volume new
17
Issue
22
Source

Inwundu_2020.pdf

Year published new
2020

Defining Homelessness in the Transition to Adulthood for Policy and Prevention.

Defining Homelessness in the Transition to Adulthood for Policy and Prevention.
Abstract

"Objectives: The present study investigates the nature of homelessness among at-risk youth transitioning into adulthood. Current policies use multiple definitions to determine eligibility for homeless services among adolescents and emerging adults. Conflicting criteria demarcate different thresholds along an assumed continuum ranging from frequent mobility to living on the streets. Multiple eligibility criteria impede cohesive service provision and prevention efforts. Little research tests this continuum conceptualization, while developmental research suggests subgroups better capture homelessness in emerging adulthood. The present study leveraged prospective data on a national sample of child welfare-involved adolescents—a population vulnerable to homelessness in emerging adulthood.
Methods: Youth report experiences of housing instability and homelessness 18–36 months after child welfare investigation, as well as adaptive functioning in multiple behavioral domains. Latent variable analyses test for a continuum of housing insecurity with reliable thresholds versus a typology capturing subgroups of co-ccurring patterns of housing instability.
Results: Results show little support for a continuum of risk; instead, three subgroups of housing instability emerge. The largest group, ‘Stably Dependent’ (83%) youth, live with family without attaining education and employment experiences necessary for independence. A smaller group labeled ‘Transients’ (12%) exhibit multiple housing and behavior problems typical of runaway youth. The smallest group, ‘Unstably Independent’ (5%), youth struggled to maintain housing in the absence of supportive adults.
Conclusions: Findings affirm a developmental conceptualization of homelessness and identify opportunities for screening and prevention."

Authors
Fowler, P.J., Marcal, K.E., Zhang, J.., Day, O., & Landsverk, J.
Type new
Journal Article
Journal Name

Journal of Child and Family Studies

Volume new
28
Year published new
2019

Solving Homelessness from a Complex Systems.

Solving Homelessness from a Complex Systems.
Abstract

Homelessness represents an enduring public health threat facing communities across the developed world. Children, families, and marginalized adults face life course implications of housing insecurity, while communities struggle to address the extensive array of needs within heterogeneous homeless populations. Trends in homelessness remain stubbornly high despite policy initiatives to end homelessness. A complex systems perspective provides insights into the dynamics underlying coordinated responses to homelessness. A constant demand for housing assistance strains service delivery, while prevention efforts remain inconsistently implemented in most countries. Feedback processes challenge efficient service delivery. A system dynamics model tests assumptions of policy interventions for ending homelessness. Simulations suggest that prevention provides a leverage point within the system; small efficiencies in keeping people housed yield disproportionately large reductions in homelessness. A need exists for policies that ensure reliable delivery of coordinated prevention efforts. A complex systems approach identifies capacities and constraints for sustainably solving homelessness.

Authors
Fowler, P.J., Hovmand,P.S., Marcal, K.E. & Das, S.
Type new
Journal Article
Journal Name

Annual Review of Public Health

Volume new
40
Year published new
2019

Suicidality in homeless children and adolescents: A systematic review.

Suicidality in homeless children and adolescents: A systematic review.
Electronically published journal article, but not part of an issue

No

Abstract

Suicide has been found to be the leading cause of death in the homeless youth population. Mortality rates due to suicide in this cohort can be 12–40 times more elevated than those observed in the general population. Therefore, a systematic review of the literature was conducted in order to investigate potential factors associated with suicidality among homeless children and adolescents. After a thorough investigation of peer-reviewed articles from main databases in this literature (ProQuest and EBSCO), a final number of 94 articles were studied to produce the contents of this systematic review. Factors associated with suicidality were divided into two main categories, namely risk factors and protective factors. The results of this review revealed significant risk factors including gender, sexual orientation, history of abuse, mental health diagnoses, negative coping styles, duration of homelessness, and survival sex. Conversely, this review identified protective factors associated with suicidality among homeless children and adolescents, such as the role of resilience, positive coping strategies, and supportive school environment. Given the impact of suicide rates in this already at-risk population, understanding these factors becomes paramount knowledge related to long-term outcomes for the homeless youth population.

Authors
Flach, Y. & Razza, T.S.
Type new
Journal Article
Journal Name

Aggression and Violent Behavior

Volume new
64
Issue
101575
Source

Flach_2022.pdf

Year published new
2022

Queer homelessness: the distinct experiences of sexuality and trans-gender diverse youth, Journal of LGBT Youth.

Queer homelessness: the distinct experiences of sexuality and trans-gender diverse youth, Journal of LGBT Youth.
Abstract

Queer young people, or young people who are sexuality diverse and/or trans and gender diverse, face a higher lifetime likelihood of homelessness than their cis-heterosexual peers. However, queer young people are often treated as a homogenous group within research, a methodological decision that obscures differences on the basis of gender identity. Drawing upon 2,159 intake records from a youth housing program in Australia, the authors compare the experiences of (i) cis-heterosexual; (ii) sexuality diverse; and (iii) trans and gender diverse young people across a number of domains related to vulnerability, including victimization and violence, health, substance use, and support systems. Eighteen percent of young people in the sample identified as queer, and five percent identified as trans or gender diverse. Queer young people were more likely to report family and intimate partner violence, poor mental health, and recent substance use than cis-hetero youth. Trans and gender non-conforming respondents were more likely than sexuality diverse peers to be experiencing current, rather than past, family violence, and less likely to report intimate partner violence and substance use. We conclude by discussing these issues within the context of past research and their implication for future research and practice within the homelessness sector.

Authors
Hail-Jares, K., Vichta-Ohlsen, R., Butler, T.M. & Byrne, J.
Type new
Journal Article
Year published new
2021

Fostering Inequity: How COVID-19 Amplifies Dangers for LGBTQ+ Youth in Care.

Fostering Inequity: How COVID-19 Amplifies Dangers for LGBTQ+ Youth in Care.
Abstract

This report was developed with extensive input from LGBTQ+ young people currently or formerly in foster care, LGBTQ+ young people currently or formerly experiencing homelessness, and direct service workers. We identify how the pandemic is amplifying some of the risks for LGBTQ+ youth in child welfare systems and propose practices to mitigate them. Now, more than ever, LGBTQ+ young people must be protected.

Type new
Policy Report
Organization

Children's Rights Works

Year published new
2020

Homelessness, Mental Health and Suicidality Among LGBTQ Youth Accessing Crisis Services.

Homelessness, Mental Health and Suicidality Among LGBTQ Youth Accessing Crisis Services.
Abstract

LGBTQ youth experience increased risks of homelessness, mental health disorder symptoms, and suicidality. Utilizing data from LGBTQ youth contacting a suicide crisis services organization, this study examined: (a) rates of homelessness among crisis services users, (b) the relationship between disclosure of LGBTQ identity to parents and parental rejection and homelessness, and (c) the relationship between homelessness and mental health disorder outcomes and suicidality. A nationwide sample of LGBTQ youth was recruited for a confidential online survey from an LGBTQ-focused crisis services hotline. Overall, nearly one-third of youth contacting the crisis services hotline had experienced lifetime homelessness, and those who had disclosed their LGBTQ identity to parents or experienced parental rejection because of LGBTQ status experienced higher rates of homelessness. Youth with homelessness experiences reported more symptoms of several mental health disorders and higher rates of suicidality. Suggestions for service providers are discussed.

Authors
Rhoades, H., Rusow, J.A., Bond, D., Lanteigne, A., Fulginiti, A., & Goldbach, J.T.
Type new
Journal Article
Journal Name

Child Psychiatry & Human Development

Volume new
49
Issue
4
Year published new
2018

Racial Inequity and Homelessness: Findings from the SPARC Study.

Racial Inequity and Homelessness: Findings from the SPARC Study.
Abstract

"This study examines racial inequities and homelessness in the United States through mixed methods research in eight communities. We compare the race and ethnicity of those experiencing homelessness to the general population and to people in poverty, and we also explore how race and ethnicity are associated with housing outcomes. Interviews with 195 individuals of color explore pathways into homelessness and drivers of outcomes. We find that Black/African Americans and Native Americans were the most overrepresented among those experiencing homelessness in each community, and interview data suggest that factors associated with homelessness for people of color include barriers to housing and economic mobility, racism and discrimination within homeless services, and involvement in multiple systems, including criminal justice. How race and ethnicity were associated with outcomes varied for youth, single adults, and families. We argue that researchers and policy-makers need to address homelessness with attention to racial justice.

Authors
Olivet, J., Wilkey, C., Richard, M., et al.
Type new
Journal Article
Journal Name

The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science

Volume new
693
Issue
1
Source

34_Olivet_2021.pdf

Year published new
2021