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

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…