One in 10 Young Adults Have Experienced Homeless
Trend Is Prevalent in Both Rural and Urban Areas
Low wages, pricey rental markets, and family instability are causing more young people to crash on couches of friends or acquaintances, sleep in cars, or turn to the streets, a new study has found.
According to an article from The Washington Post, researchers with Chapin Hall—a youth policy center at the University of Chicago—surveyed more than 26,000 young people and their families across the country to gauge how many of them had been homeless during some period of the previous year. One in 10 people ages 18 to 25 had experienced homelessness. For adolescents, the number was 1 in 30. They concluded that nearly 3.5 million young adults and 660,000 adolescents had been homeless within the previous year.
The researchers say that their aim is to dispel the notion that homelessness afflicts mostly older men. The survey identified college students and graduates and employed young people who struggled to find a permanent place to stay. Researchers also found it was no less prevalent in rural areas than in urban ones.
“Our findings probably challenge the images of homelessness. Homelessness is young,” notes Matthew Morton, a Chapin Hall research fellow. “It’s more common than people expect and it’s largely hidden.”
The study marked the first-time researchers used a nationally representative survey to capture the picture of youth homelessness. Previously, researchers relied on “point in time” counts, which tallied only people who were homeless on a particular day. The researcher said those counts probably underestimated the prevalence of youth homelessness, because young people are more likely to move in and out of it than older people.
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