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
Local

Bloomberg launches $50 million anti-gun violence effort

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to spend $50 million on a grassroots anti-gun violence network to challenge the National Rifle Association.

Local

East Village woman fights off rape attempt from…

An East Village woman fought off an attempted rapist that she woke to find standing on her bed over the weekend, police said.

International

Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.

Local

Police look for man suspected of threatening Muslim…

Police seek man suspected of calling a teen Muslim girl a "terrorist" and spitting on her multiple times while on a Queens bus.

The Word

Jenny McCarthy and Donnie Wahlberg are engaged

If Donnie Wahlberg wants to get vaccinated against anything, he should do it soon: he and Jenny McCarthy are engaged, she just announced on "The View."

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 16: 'The Americans,'…

'The Americans' Philip and Elizabeth face "painful turns" in their missions. Maybe next week they'll have a nice easy mission with no moral ambiguity? Probably…

Movies

Curtain raiser: The Tribeca Film Festival arrives this…

The Tribeca Film Festival begins its two-week run in Lower Manhattan on Thursday, boasting dozens and dozens of films of all stripes.

Movies

Review: 'Bears' is a cute Disney doc about…

Disney's latest nature doc, "Bears," doesn't completely shy away from the fact that its subjects would devour you (or eachother) if they had the chance.

NHL

Islanders back to rebuilding mode after disappointing season

One season after qualifying for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2006-07, the Islanders finished 2013-14 with a 34-37-11 record.

NFL

Jets confident despite Chris Johnson leaving with no…

Jets fans clamored for a playmaker on offense all offseason. It looked like they were going to land that player on Tuesday when Chris Johnson…

NBA

Knicks, Nets rivalry never materialized despite national attention

When the NBA schedule was released, the league anticipated an intense rivalry between the Nets and Knicks with all four games slated for national TV.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

Wellbeing

Could a facelift give you the edge at…

It's not just women lining up for procedures.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Personalize your massage at a private practice

CityTouch customizes spa treatments to meet client's needs.