Youth homelessness in Hampden County

Here’s what we know:

  • On any given night, there are more than 120 unaccompanied youth and young adults (YYA) under age 25 in shelters or on the streets in Hampden County

  • Over the course of a year, it’s more than 500 young people

  • Most YYA experiencing homelessness typically don’t seek services, so those numbers reflect just a portion of a much larger problem

Some YYA have much higher risk of homelessness than others. These include:

  • YYA of color - 87% of Hampden County homeless YYA are Latinx, Black, or multi-racial.

  • YYA with foster care experience - 31% of Hampden County YYA have been in foster care.

  • Pregnant and parenting YYA - more than half of YYA accessing shelter over the course of a year are parenting, and the children of these YYA add another 350 infants and toddlers accessing our shelters each year.

  • LGBTQ YYA - at least 13% of Hampden County homeless YYA are LGBTQ, but studies tell us the percentage is probably much higher.

In Hamden County, the average age at which young people first experience homelessness is 17.4, but among those who do seek services, they do not usually access the system until they are 18 or older.

To learn more about youth homelessness in Hampden County, read the needs assessment posted on this website. To learn more about youth homelessness, read Missed Opportunities, Youth Homelessness in America , which describes the current state of understanding of the problem.

As the Missed Opportunities report reminds us:

Adolescence and young adulthood represent a key developmental window. Every day of housing instability represents missed opportunities to support healthy development and transitions to productive adulthood.

There is a particular urgency to addressing the needs of young people experiencing housing instability. We are focused and committed to improving our systemic response to this population.

I hope you will join us this Friday, October 11, 2019 to learn more and work with us to create our coordinated community plan to prevent and end youth homelessness. Click to register.

Gerry McCafferty