Youth Homelessness

On any given night in America, there are approximately 1.3 million homeless youth living unsupervised on the streets, in abandoned buildings, with friends or with strangers (National Runaway Switchboard).  In Colorado Springs, more than 350 children and young adults up to age 24 are homeless on any given night.

We’ve included data from the El Paso County 2013 Point In Time Count, which is conducted annually as part of assessment for community homeless service needs across the country.

The real life challenges of youth experiencing homelessness can be overcome. That’s where Urban Peak comes in – we offer shelter and vital programs that support young people on their journey.  At Urban Peak, youth find skills, support and insight that allow them to step off the streets and step toward a brighter future.

Click on our programs page to view the services we provide in support of local youth.

Youth become homeless for a variety of reasons. For example, they may be fleeing from an abusive or neglectful household, or they may have aged out of foster care. Some youth are forced from their homes because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. One estimate suggests that 20 – 40% of youth experiencing homelessness also identify as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender), which is significantly higher than the estimated number of people who identify as LGBT in the overall population of the United States (approximately 3-5%)[1].

Once they are homeless, youth are highly vulnerable to abuse and harm. Youth experiencing homelessness may become the target of abuse through human trafficking or sexual exploitation, and substance abuse is prevalent among youth experiencing homelessness. Adult shelters can present a dangerous environment to youth experiencing homelessness. Youth experiencing homelessness face a number of barriers to exiting homelessness, as many of these youth do not have the life skills necessary to become productive, self-sufficient adults.

For more information including statistics about youth homelessness in the United States, visit the National Coalition for the Homeless.

[1] Ray, N. (2006). Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth: An epidemic of homelessness. New York: National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute and the National Coalition for the Homeless.