Report: Youth homelessness in Philadelphia has doubled

homelessness
About 8 percent of high school students enrolled in Philadelphia’s school district have experienced homelessness. Credit: Rikard Larma/Metro

The incidence of youth homelessness in Philadelphia more than doubled between 2009 and 2011, and at least one out of every 20 high school students enrolled in the School District of Philadelphia has experienced homelessness or abandonment, been kicked out of their residence or has run away, according to a study released last month by the social services nonprofit People’s Emergency Center.

The study, Homeless Youth in Philadelphia, analyzed data shared by Philadelphia public high school students with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which uses a variety of polling methods to measure the health and habits of children in grades 9 through 12.

The city of Philadelphia between 2008 and 2011 reported an increase of 339 percent in overall demand for family emergency housing, and officials in 2012 estimated about one-third of the demand for such shelter went unmet, according to the study.

The report shows the percentage of Philadelphia youth who reported sleeping away from home with a parent more than doubled between 2009 and 2011, while the percentage of young people reporting they typically slept away from home without a parent more than tripled during the same time.

Almost 11 percent of students reported they’d been kicked out of their homes, abandoned or had run away – another metric that more than doubled between 2009 and 2011.

In all, about eight percent of all Philadelphia public high school students reported having experienced homelessness.

According to the report, homelessness puts youth at a disproportionately higher risk than their peers to drop out of high school and have substance abuse problems, as well as engage in physically, mentally and sexually risky behavior.

Youth who are homeless with their families were 2.6 times more likely than their peers to report having been forced to have sex, more than three times more likely to have gotten pregnant and three times more likely to have attempted suicide, the data shows.

The People’s Emergency Center is strongly urging that the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey add housing questions to gather more complete information on youth homelessness so the government can allocate the proper resources.

The group further supplemented the Youth Risk Behavior Survey with its own series of stakeholder interviews to better understand the data’s implications and suggest ways they can be used to inform policies addressing the needs of homeless youth.

The People’s Emergency Center also proposed measures the city of Philadelphia could take to improve youth homelessness, including creating more safe places for teens by making available community centers and extending the use of school buildings after hours, developing a collaborative strategy to connect students with social services through the employment of community leaders, students and their families, increasing interdepartmental communication between schools and various social services agencies, and placing social workers and psychologists in schools.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Local

VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.

Local

NYS state forces thrift shops comply with ban…

Nine New York City thrift shops were reprimanded by the state attorney general for selling children's clothes with drawstrings around the neck and waist.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 11,…

Caleb's not a ghost. Spencer might still be an attempted murderer. And Hanna's going to die next week. In other words, we actually got some…

Movies

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

Marvel Entertainment's Stan Lee is adding outposts to his creative empire to interest a new generation of children in super heroes of all shapes and sizes.

Television

Mira Sorvino explores immortality on 'Intruders'

Mira Sorvino's new show "Intruders" centers around a secret society that achieves immortality by taking over the bodies of other people.

Television

5 things you need to know about new…

"Doctor Who" returns Saturday with a new star, Peter Capaldi. Here's some things to know about him (mainly his turn as sweary spin doctor Malcolm Tucker).

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

NFL

David Wilson returns to triple jump, sets sights…

Giants fans know David Wilson can jump. They are just more used to seeing him go for backflips, not distance.

Style

11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.

Parenting

How everyday moments can inspire kids' creativity

"The Artist's Way for Parents" author Julia Cameron gives advice on how parents and children can be creative together.

Tech

How to stay safe online

Stop worrying about keeping your online passwords safe, and start worrying about keeping your username a secret. Actually, worry about both. According to Shaun Murphy…

Tech

OpenTable now lets you pay your bill via…

The restaurant app OpenTable added the ability to pay your bill (and tip) with your phone, thus cutting back on a few dining annoyances.