DEFINITIONS AND DIMENSIONS
Homeless youth are individuals under the age of eighteen who lack parental, foster, or institutional care. These young people are sometimes referred to as “unaccompanied” youth.
The number of the homeless youth is estimated by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in the US Department of Justice. Their most recent study, published in 2002, reported there are an estimated 1,682,900 homeless and runaway youth. This number is equally divided among males and females, and the majority of them are between the ages of 15 and 17 (Molino, 2007). According to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, unaccompanied youth account for 1% of the urban homeless population, (U.S. Conference of Mayors, 2007). According to the National Network of Runaway and Youth Services, six percent of homeless youth are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (GLBT) (Molino, 2007). The number of homeless teenagers who are pregnant is estimated to be somewhere between six and twenty-two percent. (Health Resources and Services Administration 2001) According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, five to seven percent of American youths become homeless in any given year.
These statistics are more than just numbers. They account for the scores of homeless youth that are alone and vulnerable on the streets of Indianapolis and surrounding communities. It’s only through the grace of God and your gifts of hope that make it possible for Outreach fulfill its mission of getting these kids off the streets and onto the road toward a better life.