Report to Congress on Runaway and Homeless Youth Program Released

A young African American man smiling.

The Family and Youth Services Bureau has released its biannual "Report to Congress on the Runaway and Homeless Youth Program." The new report covers fiscal years 2012 and 2013. Here are some highlights:

The Basic Center Program funds more than 300 community-based emergency shelters for minors who are either at immediate risk of being homeless or who are already on the streets.  Beyond emergency services, basic centers provide mediation and counseling to keep minors in their homes or to reunify them with their families after they’ve left, if appropriate.

In FY12 and FY13, a total of 70,852 youth received services from a basic center program.  More than 94 percent of youth leaving basic centers returned to their families or another stable living situation, such as a friend’s or relative’s house or a residential program. 

The Transitional Living Program funds more than 200 community-based programs for older homeless youth who cannot return to their families but are not yet equipped to live on their own.  The programs offer housing, life-skills training, health care, education, employment, and other services to help youth, including pregnant and parenting youth, live self-sufficiently.

In FY12 and FY13, a total of 6,801 youth received shelter and support services from a transitional living program.  About 88 percent of youth who leave transitional living programs, whether they complete them or not, make “safe exits,” moving on to either a private residence or a residential program.

The Street Outreach Program funds more than 100 community-based programs that provide education and prevention services to runaway, homeless and street youth who have been subjected to, or are at risk of being subjected to, sexual abuse or exploitation.  In FY12 and FY13, street outreach workers helped more than 42,771 youth move off the street and into a shelter for at least one night.

The National Communications System serves as a national hotline connecting young people who have run away or are otherwise in crisis to programs, services, and transportation back home.  The hotline, run by Chicago’s National Runaway Safeline, handled about 250 calls a day from youth and concerned adults in FY12 and FY13.

Through coordinating, training, research, and other activities, the Runaway and Homeless Youth Program funded two demonstration projects to learn lessons about how to improve service delivery to runaway and homeless youth.  The Program also made progress on two research studies to further our understanding of the needs and outcomes of those served through the Transitional Living and Street Outreach programs.

Read the report.

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