April 19, 2018

Report Raises Concerns Over Homelessness After Foster Care

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Report Raises Concerns Over Homelessness After Foster Care

About 25,000 young people age out of foster care each year, with a large number then facing homelessness, according to a new report released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Department of Health and Human Services. The report sounds an alarm to policy makers for the need to increase funding to programs to better serve this population and for greater research to determine what type of housing programs best work for former foster-care children.  

Youth who age out of the foster-care system may be the “single age group most at risk of homelessness,” according to research. Young people in foster care typically age out of foster care on their 18th birthday. Some states extend that to 21. 

Between 11 and 37 percent of youths who age out of foster care have experienced homelessness, according to the report. What’s more, research shows that 25 to 50 percent of these young adults leaving foster care “couch surf, double up, move frequently within a short period of time, have trouble paying rent, and face eviction.” 

“All the available research underscores that these young people are too often faced with the hard choice of being precariously housed or living on our streets or in our shelters,” says Katherine O’Regan, HUD’s assistant secretary for policy development and research. “As we work toward ending homelessness, policy makers at every level of government must consider the unique challenges of young people who exit a system of care with little or no housing options available to them.” 

Source: “New Report Examines Housing Challenges Faced by Youth Aging out of Foster Care,” RISMedia (June 3, 2014)

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