Voices of Youth Count

Understanding and ending youth homelessness

Voices of Youth Count is a national Chapin Hall initiative to bring actionable evidence to prevent and end youth homelessness. From 2015 through 2017, Chapin Hall conducted the most comprehensive examination to date of youth homelessness, incorporating youth voices to develop achievable solutions.

Voices of Youth Count examines:

  • The size and characteristics of the runaway and homeless youth population
  • The reasons youth become homeless
  • The services and strategies they use to survive
  • The roles of federal policies and programs in enabling communities and service providers to address their needs

The Voices initiative provides evidence to service providers, policy makers, advocates and funders who are working to prevent and end youth homelessness. The work is led by Dr. Matthew Morton, an expert in both research and policy in community development and youth homelessness. Chapin Hall Research Fellow Dr. Amy Dworsky also brings her considerable experience in foster youth research to the Voices work.

The first report of the project—Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America—revealed that one in 10 young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 and at least one in 30 adolescents between age ages of 13 and 17 experience some form of homelessness over the course of a year. (See the November 15, 2017 press release.) The project’s second brief, LGBTQ Youth Homelessness in America, found that LGBTQ youth experienced homelessness at more than twice the rate as their peers, and that they were more likely to experience adversities both before and during homelessness. (See April 25, 2017 press release.)

Additional research-to-impact briefs will be released throughout 2018. These reports will focus on youth who are at greater risk of experiencing homelessness, including those who are pregnant and parenting, LGBT, and those who did not graduate from high school. Through more than 200 in-depth interviews with youth, we will also look more closely at youth trajectories into homelessness, and the intersection with systems, including child welfare, education and juvenile justice.

For more information about Voices of Youth Count, please visit our website or contact us at voyc@chapinhall.org.