Teen Council members are working diligently on the Youth Mini grant they received from the St. Louis Mental Health Board to provide resource backpacks to transient and homeless youth at the Patrick Henry Downtown Academy in St. Louis.
Some of the facts they discovered this week —
*The Dept. of Justice estimates that every year, over 1.7 million teens experience homelessness in the U.S.
*In 2014, 45,205 homeless youth were unaccompanied by adults.
Covenant House in St. Louis serves 6,400 homeless youth ages 16-21 every year.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF YOUTH AND TEEN HOMELESSNESS?
*They suffered or witnessed child abuse or neglect in the home.
*About 80% of homeless youth (aged 12-21) use drugs or alcohol to self medicate.
*According to estimates by the Urban Institute, nearly 1 in 5 youth under the age of 18 will run away at least once.
*Approximately 40% of homeless teens are LGBT.
*Over 50% of young people in shelters and on the streets report that their parents told them to leave or knew they were leaving and didn’t care.
*Of youth who run away, 41% have been abandoned by their parents for at least 24 hours and 43% have been beaten by a caretaker.
*Children living on the streets are more likely to engage in “survival sex” trading sex to gain food, clothing, drugs, money, or just for a safe place to sleep at night.
*Every year, approximately 5,000 homeless young people will die because of assault, illness, or suicide while trying to survive.