The federal government has set a goal of ending youth homelessness by 2020 with Opening Doors, a strategic plan released in 2010. But as the plan acknowledges, figuring out how many youth are homeless is no easy task.
This month, communities across the country will undertake the annual Point-in-Time (PIT) count of homeless adults, families, and youth in an effort to measure the number of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons on a single night in January. Unfortunately, the PIT count generally undercounts youth experiencing homelessness, so some communities choose to conduct a targeted count of this critically vulnerable population.
As the date of the annual count approaches, it’s helpful to take stock of what we’ve learned about these youth.