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Homelessness among youth in the U.S. is disturbingly common, with an estimated annual prevalence of at least 5 percent for those ages 12 to 17. Although homeless youth appear throughout the nation, they are most visible in major cities. Rigorous research on this special population is sparse, making it difficult to capture an accurate and complete picture. Despite its limitations, recent research describes homeless youth as a large and diverse group. Many homeless youth have multiple overlapping problems including medical, substance abuse, and emotional and mental problems. Literature suggests that comprehensive and tailored services are needed that address both the immediate and long-term needs of homeless youth. Where appropriate, services should include assistance with meeting basic needs as perceived by youth as a gateway to other needed services. In addition to serving those already homeless, interventions are needed to prevent homelessness among at-risk youth. (Authors)
Book Chapter
1999
Delmar, NY
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A program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services