As a member of the Pikes Peak Continuum of Care (PPCoC), Urban Peak Colorado Springs (UPCS) is committed to identifying and meeting community needs to end homelessness. The PPCoC released summary data from the 2018 Point in Time (PIT) count of people experiencing homelessness. There was a significant increase of 24% in the number of youth in the count: 140 youth ages 18 to 24. Youth-specific data also shows:
- Approximately one-third (47) of youth were without any shelter at all on the PIT count night
- Youth comprised 9% of the total number of people in homelessness
- Urban Peak Colorado Springs counted a 22% increase in the number of youth being served by the street outreach team in 2017, so the data is consistent across sources
The longer youth are on the street, the more vulnerable they are to assault, human trafficking and falling to crime to survive. That’s why shelter and housing services include not just the basics, but support and access to healthcare, restarting school, getting a job, reconnecting to family, and gaining emotional stability as well as a place to call home.
We also understand that past trauma, anxiety, mental health, substance use and struggles with control play into whether a young person feels comfortable coming into shelter. So, not all youth will come in – even if there is a safe, warm bed waiting. That’s why our street outreach team is so important. Ensuring we can reach more youth with deeper services out in the community is essential, and that’s why we aim to open a Drop-In Center by winter 2018.
Click here to learn more about the growing issue of youth homelessness by viewing the PIT data.