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Youth Experiencing Homelessness: An Innovative Method for Identifying Youth Experiencing Homeless. Joe Willard People’s Emergency Center, Philadelphia. Staci Perlman, MSW, PhD University of Delaware, Newark. INTRODUCTIONS. Who are you?. What brings you to this workshop?

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slide1

Youth Experiencing Homelessness:

An Innovative Method for Identifying Youth Experiencing Homeless

Joe Willard

People’s Emergency Center, Philadelphia

Staci Perlman, MSW, PhD

University of Delaware, Newark

slide2

INTRODUCTIONS

Who are you?

What brings you to this workshop?

Any community collaborations on using data? HMIS? YRBS? CoC?

focus for today
Focus for Today
  • Background and Overview
  • Study Findings
  • Implications & Conclusions
  • New Methods for Replication
why we did this
Why We Did This
  • Developing regional focus on children and youth
  • Reluctance to share or collect data
  • National Definition of Who is Homelessness
  • 100% families per-shelter double up
  • Advocacy for EHCY
youth experiencing homelessness
Youth Experiencing Homelessness…
  • Report high rates of physical and sexual abuse
  • Are more likely to have experienced foster care
  • Report high rates of substance use
  • Evidence worse academic achievement and engagement than their peers
slide6

Homeless Youth in the National Spotlight

Opening Doors Report

  • Better understanding of the number of youth experiencing homelessness
  • Build the evidence base
  • Support access to services for specific populations

First Youth Point in Time Count

and differing methods
…and Differing Methods

Approaches

  • Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) Sheltered Count
    • Based on EH/TH administrative data over a year
  • Point-In-Time (PIT) Count
    • At least once each year (January)
    • Sheltered & Unsheltered
  • Children Served Under McKinney Vento Act
    • Students identified by district liaisons
slide11

Rates of Child Homelessness/100 Children Based on Children Served under McKinney-Vento

.71

.58

.54

.54

.59

.43

.62

1.2

Total = 18,231 Children

slide12

Rates of Child Homelessness/100 Children Based on Children Served by EH/TH Programs

.28

.21

.13

.31

.13

.11

.15

.31

.10

.31

.12

1.2

.29

Total = 9,098 Children

.42

slide13

Side by Side Comparison of State

Shelter (EH/TH)

McKinney-Vento (School)

slide15

Finding Youth Who are Homeless

Almost Certainly

Family / Friends

Streets

Shelters

Most Definitely!

School

slide16
Can we find homeless students by asking at school?Sheltered? Doubled-up? Unaccompanied?Are these groups all at-risk?
study purpose
Study Purpose

Develop a better understanding of youth homelessness in Philadelphia and strategies for addressing the needs of these youth

mixed methods study
Mixed Methods Study

Using publicly available data:

  • What is the prevalence of youth homelessness in Philadelphia?
  • To what extent is youth homelessness associated with physical safety, mental health, substance use and sexual risk behaviors?

Through stakeholder interviews:

  • What are strategies for supporting youth experiencing homelessness?
slide19

Part 1:

Philadelphia Youth Risk Behavior Survey

youth risk behavior survey yrbs
Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS)
  • Largest survey of youth risk behaviors in the U.S.
  • Conducted biennially - usually during the spring
  • Completed in one class period (45 minutes)
  • Anonymous, no “skip-patterns”
slide21

Risk Behaviors

Physical Safety

  • Carried a weapon
  • Missed school due to feeling unsafe
  • Threatened at school
  • Hit by significant other
  • Bullied
  • Forced to have sex

Substance Use

  • Ever smoked
  • Smoked < 13 years of age
  • Smoked daily for the last 30 days
  • Ever drank alcohol
  • Alcohol <13 years of age
  • Ever used marijuana
  • Used marijuana <13 years of age
  • Tried cocaine

Mental Health

  • Sad for two or more weeks
  • Considered suicide
  • Attempted suicide
  • Self-injury

Sexual Risk Behaviors

  • Ever had sex
  • Had sex <13 years of age
  • Had sex with multiple people
  • Used a condom
  • Did not use birth control
  • Got pregnant
philadelphia yrbs
Philadelphia YRBS
  • Conducted since 1991
  • Asks about an array of youth risk behaviors
  • In 2009 and 2011, Philadelphia included three questions on housing status – making it one of few locations in the country to do so…
philadelphia yrbs housing status questions
Philadelphia YRBS Housing Status Questions

During the past 30 days, did you live away from your parents because you were kicked out, ran away, were abandoned, or removed from your parents?

Have you ever considered yourself to be homeless?

philadelphia yrbs housing status questions1
Philadelphia YRBS Housing Status Questions

Where do you typically sleep at night?

  • At a friend's or relative's home with my parents or guardians
  • In a supervised shelter with my parents or guardians
  • In a hotel or motel, car, park, campground, or other public place with my parents or guardians

Housed

  • At home with my parents or guardians

Homeless with Family

  • At a friend's or relative's home without my parents or guardians
  • In a supervised shelter without my parents or guardians
  • In a hotel or motel, car, park, campground, or other public place without my parents or guardians

Homeless Without Family (Unaccompanied Youth)

yrbs sampling strategy
YRBS Sampling Strategy
  • Two stage cluster method
    • Schools
    • Classrooms within schools
  • The response rate in 2011 exceeded 60%
    • These data are representative of the district population
slide26

YRBS 2011 Sample (n = 1,539)

Data are representative of the more than 43,000 children attending public high schools in Philadelphia

slide27

Snapshot of Findings:

Prevalence of Youth Homelessness

in Philadelphia

slide30

Traditional Counts Compared to YRBS Count

* Note: Ever homeless; **Estimate based on annual count; *** YRBS only involves 9th – 12 graders, so not a clean comparison

slide37

Question 3:

Is the risk more than just other factors? (race/ethnicity, gender, age)

multiple logistic regression
Multiple Logistic Regression

Physical Safety

Mental Health

Sexual Risk Behaviors

Substance Use

Youth Demographics

GenderEthnicity

Age

Housing Status

(With Family or Unaccompanied

compared to

Housed Youth)

slide39

Controlling for the influence of age, race/ethnicity, and gender, youth who were homeless with family were 2.3 times more likely than housed youth to have carried a weapon to school.

Controlling for the influence of age, race/ethnicity, and gender, unaccompanied youth were 3.9 times more likely than housed youth to have carried a weapon to school.

slide43

Summary of YRBS Findings

Prevalence of Youth Homelessness

At least one out of twenty youth experienced homelessness

Locating Youth Experiencing Homelessness

Homeless with Family Compared to Unaccompanied Youth

youth experiencing homelessness pit compared to yrbs
Youth Experiencing Homelessness:PIT Compared to YRBS

Massachusetts

PIT: 68

YRBS: 12,541

Philadelphia

PIT: 17

YRBS: 2,163

Los Angeles, CA

PIT: 366

YRBS: 34,370

slide45

Summary of YRBS Findings

Prevalence of Youth Homelessness

At least one out of twenty youth experienced homelessness

Locating Youth Experiencing Homelessness

Most doubled-up with family or friends.

Many still going to school.

Homeless with Family Compared to Unaccompanied Youth

Across most indicators, unaccompanied youth

evidenced the highest prevalence of risk

limitations of yrbs data
Limitations of YRBS Data
  • Only includes youth enrolled and present the day of the survey
  • Self Selecting: extent of underreporting or over-reporting of behaviors cannot be determined
  • Secondary data – limited to questions in the YRBS
slide47

Part 2:

Stakeholder Interviews

Based on the YRBS data, what are strategies for addressing the needs of youth experiencing homelessness?

stakeholder feedback
Stakeholder Feedback

Thirty semi-structured interviews with an array of stakeholders were conducted between November 2012-February 2013

policy suggestions 10 broad themes
Policy Suggestions: 10 Broad Themes
  • School-community partnerships
  • Information/training
  • Schools & mental health
  • Safe schools
  • Peer support
  • Integrated services/interagency collaborations
  • Housing
  • Community
  • Legal/Implementation of McKinney-Vento
  • Access to services
specific suggestions
Specific Suggestions
  • Schools as community gathering places
  • Access to behavioral and mental health services
  • Ensure educational rights of youth
  • Increase service access
  • Emphasis on safety
slide51

Study Implications

Number of Youth Experiencing Homelessness

Innovative Methods That are Youth Centered

“It is powerful and important that the government wants to know more about youth homelessness. […]Youth homelessness is a lot of house hopping, it is not a lot of sheltered youth or street homelessness. Some are – but not a lot. A lot of our youth are sleeping in someone’s house or on the floor somewhere or someone’s porch. That’s what our youth look like.”

- Provider

slide52

Study Implications

Number of Youth Experiencing Homelessness

Innovative Methods That are Youth Centered

Complexity of Youth Homelessness

Addressing the Needs of Youth Experiencing Homelessness Requires More than Housing

“A key part of addressing youth homelessness is that it is not just a place to put your stuff and yourself.”

- Provider

slide53

Study Implications

“This speaks to the fact that for kids who are becoming disconnected, school might be the last place before everything falls apart. […] If this is the one connection we have with them because they are unstably housed…this is the place that we should use to connect and try to address some of these issues.”

- Legal

Number of Youth Experiencing Homelessness

Innovative Methods That are Youth Centered

Prevalence of Risks

Youth experiencing homelessness more likely than their peers to experience risks

Meeting Youth Where They Are At

Importance of schools as settings for connecting

families and addressing needs

how can you use this
How Can You Use This?
  • YRBS publicly available
  • Focus groups/interviews with key stakeholders
  • Using data as vehicle for collaboration
  • Other publicly available data: HMIS; PIT

Who are you?

current responses
Current Responses
  • Family providers organize youth group to focus on youth in shelter or who have families in shelter
  • County organizes group to respond to 18-24 year olds on street and connect to services, housing
  • Child welfare system receives grant to address the needs of youth aging out of foster care and into homelessness.
  • Interest from USICH, NAEHCY, NAEH as best practice
slide56

Thank You!

We greatly appreciate the time and insight of the individuals who participated in the stakeholder interviews and who contributed to this study.

slide57

Contact Information:

Joe Willard: jwillard@pec-cares.edu

Staci Perlman: sperlman@udel.edu

The full report is available at:

http://www.pec-cares.org/clientfolders/pdf/2013HomelessYouthPhilly%20full%20rep.pdf