Children find themselves homeless for a variety of reasons – from their own or a family member’s mental illness, financial hardship, issues at school, abuse, or other family distress.
According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, these youth are more vulnerable to physical assault, rape, and trafficking.
A survey of former homeless youth cites these specific impacts of homelessness on youth:
- 82% say, “Being homeless had a huge impact on their life overall.”
- 72% say, “It affected my ability to feel safe and secure.”
- 71% say, “It impacted my mental and emotional health.”
- 62% say, “My physical health was affected.”
- 69% say, “My self-confidence decreased.”
- 68% say, “Being homeless made it difficult to maintain relationships with my family.”
- 57% say, “Being homeless made it difficult to maintain relationships with my friends.”
- 68% say, “Homelessness had a big impact on my education.”
- 60% say, “It was hard to stay in school while homeless.”
- 68% say, “It was hard to succeed and do well in school.”
- 42% say, “I had at one or more points dropped out of school.”
In Michigan, children make up a significant portion of Michigan’s 86,000 homeless people. More than 38,000 children in Michigan are living on their own, left to their own devices and fending for themselves (American’s Youngest Outcasts, 2010).
Washtenaw County has an estimated 1300 youth experiencing homelessness or housing instability.
“Homeless Youth Among us: a story of transformation”
Meet Kevin. Kevin became homeless at age 15. Hear his incredible story of resilience and why Ozone House is an integral part of our community.