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National Clearinghouse on Homeless Youth and Families

Homeless Youth

An Adapted Life Skills Empowerment Program for Homeless Youth: Preliminary Findings.

An Adapted Life Skills Empowerment Program for Homeless Youth: Preliminary Findings.
Abstract

Homeless youth are a difficult to reach subgroup of homeless individuals who require a unique level of intervention given their specific vulnerabilities as young people. They experience higher levels of trauma than their housed counterparts and lack parental guidance around concrete life skills as well as emotional support. This article provides a description of the adaptation process of a pilot life skills empowerment program designed to help homeless youth integrate successfully into the community by providing life skills training, emotional support, and social justice awareness. Youth participated in twice weekly group sessions and one-to-one mentoring with community volunteers. The adapted program was piloted in 3 cycles with small groups totaling 20 youth over the course of 18 months. Mixed methods were used to evaluate youths’ experiences in the program. While the sample size was too small to detect statistical significance, scores on validated measures (Antonovsky’s Sense of Coherence measurement tool and the Post-Traumatic Check-list Civilian version) demonstrated improvements in coping and sense of coherence and decreases in trauma symptoms. Qualitative findings supported the quantitative trends, demonstrating that youth felt more confident and hopeful about their futures, were able to set goals for themselves, and begin training programs and jobs. Youth were also able to develop trusting and meaningful relationships with mentors, staff, and peers. Implications for future program development and practice, future research, and social services education are discussed.

Authors
Sisselman-Borgia, A.
Type new
Journal Article
Journal Name

Child &Youth Services

Volume new
42
Issue
1
Year published new
2021

Improving program implementation and client engagement in interventions addressing youth homelessness: A meta-synthesis.

Improving program implementation and client engagement in interventions addressing youth homelessness: A meta-synthesis.
Electronically published journal article, but not part of an issue

No

Abstract

In this meta-synthesis of current findings on youth interventions, the authors explore common programmatic or contextual factors that researchers and/or practitioners identify as contributing to the successful implementation of an intervention for homeless and unstably housed youth; and (2) that youth and practitioners identify as hindering successful implementation of an intervention for these youth? Two primary themes regarding factors that support successful implementation and engagement were identified: (1) Organizational and system-wide policies can shape the quality and duration of interventions, and (2) Staff behaviors and training are paramount to the success of many interventions. Results further highlight organizational and system-wide policies and staffing behaviors and training needs. The authors conclude that their review supports services that emphasize empowerment and anti-paternalism, and increased attention to racial and LGBTQ equity in future exploration of implementation and engagement within programs designed for youth experiencing homelessness. (author abstract modified)

Authors
Curry, S.R., Baiocchi, A., Tully, B.A., Garst, N., Bielz, S., Kugley,S., & Morton, M.H.
Type new
Journal Article
Journal Name

Children and Youth Services Review

Volume new
120
Year published new
2021

Prevalence and Correlates of Sex Trafficking among Homeless and Runaway Youths Presenting for Shelter Services.

Prevalence and Correlates of Sex Trafficking among Homeless and Runaway Youths Presenting for Shelter Services.
Electronically published journal article, but not part of an issue

No

Abstract

The study reported in this article assessed prevalence and demographic correlates of sex trafficking in a purposive sample of 270 young people experiencing homelessness in three U.S. cities (Philadelphia; Phoenix; and Washington, DC) and at five host agencies. Participants were 57% male, 38% female, 4% transgender, and 1% other. The average age of participants was 20.7 years (SD = 2.0 years). The majority of the participants were African American (56%), followed by white (14%) and multiracial (14%). The Human Trafficking Interview and Assessment Measure detected that nearly one in five young people were victims of sex trafficking, either due to force, fraud, or coercion (FFC); age; or both. Those who were sex trafficked were more likely than those who were not sex trafficked to be female, sexual minorities, or Latino and to have either dropped out of high school or obtained a GED. Differences between being trafficked due to FFC and being trafficked due to age were also investigated. Findings support the need for development of targeted prevention and intervention efforts for young people experiencing homelessness that address sex trafficking victimization and related risk factors.

Authors
Greeson, J.K.P., Treglia, D., Schilling Wolfe, D., & Wasch, S.
Type new
Paper/Research Report
Journal Name

Social Work Research

Volume new
43
Issue
2
Year published new
2019

Sex Trafficking and LGBQT+ Youth

Sex Trafficking and LGBQT+ Youth
Electronically published journal article, but not part of an issue

Yes

Abstract

12 Sex Trafficking and LGBQT+ Youth. Polaris Project Research Brief 2019 Polaris Project. https://polarisproject.org/resources/sex-trafficking-and-lgbtq-youth/ Sex trafficking; LGBTQ youth; Homeless youth; Safe Harbor Laws No Nearly 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ+, compared to 7% of the general population. These youth may face homelessness for reasons connected to their identities, such as family rejection, prior abuse or neglect, bullying in school, or social discrimination and marginalization. Youth without safe shelter and social supports are at higher risk of trafficking and exploitation. Traffickers exploit their needs and vulnerabilities to compel them into sex or labor trafficking. LGBTQ+ youth may be trafficked by intimate partners, family members, friends, or strangers. Sex Trafficking and LGBTQ Youth, provides an introduction to sex trafficking for LGBTQ+ youth providers and others who are new to the issue of human trafficking. This resource provides indicators of sex trafficking, recommendations on how LGBTQ+ serving organizations can get involved in anti-trafficking efforts, and information on how to get assistance for LGBTQ+ youth survivors of sex trafficking.

Authors
Polaris Project
Type new
Research Brief
Organization

Polaris Project

Year published new
2019

Homelessness in School-Age Children and Youth: A Scoping Review of the Literature

Homelessness in School-Age Children and Youth: A Scoping Review of the Literature
Electronically published journal article, but not part of an issue

No

Abstract

Despite reports that over 1.3 million school-age children (ages 5–18) were homeless in 2019, little is known about the effects of homelessness on their overall health and well-being. To better understand where gaps exist, a scoping review of the literature was conducted to identify studies of the physical, mental, and behavioral health risks and outcomes of school-age children experiencing homelessness or housing instability. Following the Joanna Briggs Institute framework and Preferred Reporting Items (PRISMA) guidelines, seven electronic databases were searched using key words: homelessness, children, health, and well-being. Of the 4,372 records, 23 articles met inclusion criteria. Most examined mental health and high-risk activities or behavioral risks related to school achievement. Few studies tracked the long-term health outcomes of homeless school-age children. Findings have implications for school nurses who have contact with children experiencing homelessness and are in position to intervene to prevent negative health sequelae in this vulnerable population.

Authors
Gultekin, L.E., Brush, B.L., Ginier, E., Cordom, A., & Dowdell, E.B.
Type new
Journal Article
Journal Name

The Journal of School Nursing

Volume new
36
Issue
1
Year published new
2020

Perceived Impacts, Acceptability, and Recommendations for Ecological Momentary Assessment Among Youth Experiencing Homelessness: Qualitative Study.

Perceived Impacts, Acceptability, and Recommendations for Ecological Momentary Assessment Among Youth Experiencing Homelessness: Qualitative Study.
Electronically published journal article, but not part of an issue

No

Abstract

Background: The use of ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to study youth experiencing homelessness (YEH) behaviors is an emerging area of research. Despite high rates of participation and potential clinical utility, few studies have investigated the acceptability and recommendations for EMA from the YEH perspective. Objective: This study aimed to describe the perceived benefits, usability, acceptability, and barriers to the use of EMA from the homeless youth perspective. Methods: YEH were recruited from a larger EMA study. Semi-structured exit interviews were performed using an interview guide that focused on the YEH experience with the EMA app and included perceived barriers and recommendations for future studies. Data analyses used an inductive approach with thematic analysis to identify major themes and subthemes. Results: A total of 18 YEH aged 19-24 years participated in individual and group exit interviews. The EMA was highly acceptable to YEH and they found the app and EMA surveys easy to navigate. Perceived benefits included increased behavioral and emotional awareness with some YEH reporting a decrease in their high-risk behaviors as a result of participation. Another significant perceived benefit was the ability to use the phones for social support and make connections to family, friends, and potential employers. Barriers were primarily survey and technology related. Survey-related barriers included the redundancy of questions, the lack of customizable responses, and the timing of survey prompts. Technology-related barriers included the “freezing” of the app, battery charge, and connectivity issues. Recommendations for future studies included the need to provide real-time mental health support for symptomatic youth, to create individually customized questions, and to test the use of personalized motivational messages that respond to the EMA data in real time. Conclusions: YEH are highly receptive to the use of EMA in studies. Further studies are warranted to understand the impact of EMA on YEH behaviors. Incorporating the YEH perspective into the design and implementation of EMA studies may help minimize barriers, increase acceptability, and improve participation rates in this hard-to-reach, disconnected population.

Authors
Acorda, D., Businelle, M., & Santa Maria, D.
Type new
Journal Article
Journal Name

JMIR Formative Research

Volume new
5
Issue
4
Year published new
2021

Research Brief #2 – Support Systems for Youth: How to Maximize Youth’s Networks in Prevention Efforts.

Research Brief #2 – Support Systems for Youth: How to Maximize Youth’s Networks in Prevention Efforts.
Electronically published journal article, but not part of an issue

No

Abstract

This research brief focuses on social network characteristics as important determinants of social and health experience and outcomes for YYA experiencing homelessness. It shares recommendations from the research to help programs work with their young people to strengthen these key relationships. (author abstract modified)

Authors
Sohn, J.
Type new
Brief
Organization

Canadian Observatory n Homelessness

Year published new
2021

Overcoming Rural Specific Obstacles to Ending Youth Homelessness

Overcoming Rural Specific Obstacles to Ending Youth Homelessness
Electronically published journal article, but not part of an issue

No

Abstract

This brief describes the offerings of community-based solutions to address homelessness in rural Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) sites. The brief offers community-based solutions to these obstacles to provide rural partners with ideas on addressing their own obstacles towards ending youth homelessness. (author abstract modified)

Authors
HUD
Type new
Brief
Organization

The Department of Housing and Urban Development

Source

Homeless youth, Youth experiencing homelessness, Homelessness and rural communities, Youth, Community initiative

Year published new
2021

YTH StreetConnect: Development and Usability of a Mobile App for Homeless and Unstably Housed Youth

YTH StreetConnect: Development and Usability of a Mobile App for Homeless and Unstably Housed Youth
Electronically published journal article, but not part of an issue

No

Abstract

This journal article describes a study with the objective to develop a mobile app, called YTH StreetConnect, to support homeless and unstably housed (H/UH) youth and their providers in accessing health care and vital resources. In Phase I, the researchers conducted a literature review on mobile phone and internet usage by H/UH youth and interviewed H/UH providers to inform the app prototype development process. In Phase II, they conducted focus groups with H/UH youth participants to test the usability of the YTH StreetConnect app. From the usability testing, participants proposed improvements to the app, including visual updates to the user interface, map icons, new underrepresented resource categories, and the addition of a peer-rating system. The study found that YTH StreetConnect is a promising way to increase service utilization, provide referral access, and share resources among H/UH youth and providers. The feedback garnered from H/UH youth and providers offers insights on how to improve future models of YTH StreetConnect and similar programs that assist H/UH youth.

Accession number
25564
Authors
Sheoran, B., Silva, C.L., Lykens, J.E., Gamedze, L., Williams, S., Ford, J.V., Habel, M.A.
Type new
Journal Article
Journal Name

JMIR mHealth and uHealth

Volume new
4
Year published new
2016
Availability

Full-text article available online free of charge: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4965613/

Youth Homelessness and Vulnerability: How Does Couch Surfing Fit?

Youth Homelessness and Vulnerability: How Does Couch Surfing Fit?
Electronically published journal article, but not part of an issue

No

Abstract

This journal article presents emerging findings regarding couch surfing and youth homelessness. The authors use data from a national survey of 13,113 adults with youth ages 13 to 25 in their households or who are themselves ages 18 to 25. Findings suggest that couch surfing is relatively common, particularly among the older age group in this study. Households with youth in these age ranges reported couch surfing in the last 12 months: 4 percent among the younger youth and 20 percent among the older youth. The authors found notable social, economic, and educational differences between youth reporting homelessness and those reporting only couch surfing. However, most youth who reported experiencing homelessness also reported couch surfing. Youth who experienced both circumstances presented high levels of socioeconomic vulnerability. (author abstract modified)

Accession number
25627
Authors
Curry, S.R., Morton, M., Matjasko, J.L., Dworsky, A., Samuels, G.M., Schlueter, D.
Type new
Journal Article
Journal Name

American Journal of Community Psychology

Volume new
60
Year published new
2017
Availability