First Annual Homeless Assessment Report on Homeless Adults and Youth (HUD) • Disproportionate representation of individuals of color in homelessness compared to the general population. • Even when factoring-in poverty, there was a slight disproportionate representation for individuals of color. Homelessness by Race and Ethnicity Racial Category % of Sheltered Homeless Population % of U.S. Poverty Population % of U.S. Population White, Caucasian 41.1% 45.5% 69.1% Individuals of Color (Minority Status) 58.9% 54.5% 30.9% Table 1. Homelessness by Race and Ethnicity First Annual Homeless Assessment Report - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Adults Youth Homelessness by Race and Ethnicity Racial Category % of Homeless Teen Population (seeking services) % of Teen Population White, Caucasian 49.1% 69.6% Individuals of Color (Minority Status) 39.8% 30.3% Table 2. Youth Homelessness by Race and Ethnicity General Teen (13- 17) Population – 2000 Census Local Studies Reporting Over-Representation of Youth of Color • African Americans were over-represented in a probability sample from shelters throughout metropolitan Detroit, where 46 percent of 118 homeless youth were African American compared to 22 percent in the area’s general population. (McCaskill) • Both African American and American Indian youth were over-represented in a street sample of 13 to 21 year olds in Seattle (Cauce) • Both African American and American Indian youth overrepresented in statewide sample from Minnesota of 11 to 17 and 18 to 21 year olds. (Owen) Data from the Runaway and Homeless Youth Management Information System (RHYMIS) 2005 Basic Center (Shelters) Transitional Living Program (Youth Housing) Percentage in General U.S. Teenage Population (2000 US Census) White 56.3 % 49.1 % 69.6 % African American 29 % 30.9 % 14.5 % American Indian 3.5 % 7.2 % 1.1 % Latino 15.4 % 12.8 % 16.3 % Asian .9 % .9 % 3.8 % Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander .8 % .8 % .2 % Multi-cultural 1% 0% 3.1 % (7.6 % have another ‘other race’) Not Provided 8.4 % 11 % U.S. Department of Health and Human Services CONTRADICTORY RESEARCH • Two national surveys of school-aged youth who experience a runaway or homeless episode each year showed no disproportionate impact on youth from communities of color. Minority youth seem to have similar rates of runaway and homeless experiences as white youth. • The Prevalence of Homelessness Among Adolescents in the United States. American Journal of Public Health, 88(9):1325-1329. Ringwalt, C.L., Greene, J.M., Robertson, M. & McPheeters, M. (1998) • Runaway/Thrownaway Children: National estimates and characteristics. National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART), October, 2002. Washington, D.C.: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Hammer, H., Finkelhor, D., & Sedlak, A. (2002) LINKING YOUTH HOMELESSNESS TO POVERTY • State and local studies - homeless youth come from lower-income and working-class families and neighborhoods. • In a broad four-state Midwestern sample of 602 homeless youth, 2/3 of the youth’s parents (68%) reported household incomes below $35,000 (Whitbeck) LINKING YOUTH HOMELESSNESS TO POVERTY •In a Detroit shelter, most youth (69%) came from families in which the parents held unskilled or blue-collar jobs. Most came from neighborhoods that had median family incomes below $40,000. (McCaskill) •Another study in Detroit helped to bolster the previous Detroit study and findings with a sample of 176 homeless youth. (Toro) UNEMPLOYMENT AND YOUTH HOMELESSNESS American Indian and African American youth experience high rates of unemployment presumably affecting their ability to find and retain housing. Total, ages 16-19 Ages 18-19 Only 6% 10% 12% 23% Hispanic 12% 20% Total 8% 14% Race/ethnicity White African American Youth Not In School and Not Working, 2003 DISPARITY IN TREATMENT WITHIN HOMELESS YOUTH SERVICES DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE AN ISSUE Most recent assessment of federally funded Runaway and Homeless Youth Act programs: There is no documentation or research that community-based shelter, drop-in, or transitional housing programs lack in culturally competent services to youth of color. “All grants are awarded competitively, and require that applicants establish the need for assistance in a local area and the characteristics of the targeted population to ensure that targeted beneficiaries are those RHY means to be served and can be served effectively and efficiently. Credible documentation of this is weighted heavily in this section of the grants review process, and plans and principles for serving these youth must also be described.” (Detailed Information on the Runaway and Homeless Youth Assessment, Program Assessment Rating Tool, 2007) OVER-REPRESENTATION IN FOSTER CARE – FEEDER TO YOUTH HOMELESSNESS • 542,000 children and youth are in foster care on any given day in the U.S. (Cauce) • African American children are 35% of foster care population (15% of US child population) • American Indians are 2% of foster care population (1% of US child population) •Every year, about 20,000-25,000 youth ages 16 and older transition from foster care •Many homeless youth report a history of foster care – studies estimate 21 to 53% have prior histories. (Toro) •25% of former foster youth nationwide stated that they had been homeless at least one night within 2.5 to 4 years after existing foster care. (Cook) TRANSITIONS FOR JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM • Approximately 200,000 juveniles and young adults ages 10 to 24 years are released • A majority of homeless youth studied in 1996 and 1989 reported stays in juvenile detention facilities - most had multiple detentions. • More than 1/4 homeless youth had history of foster care, group homes, or juvenile detention became homeless upon their most recent separation. (Clark) •Forty-seven jurisdictions explicitly allow police to take runaway youth into custody without a court order or the youth’s permission. •Another study found that youth involved with the correctional system were more likely to be homeless or precariously housed. (Feldman) FOCUS OF FUTURE RESEARCH While further research may establish additional evidence of the disproportionate impact of homelessness on American Indian and African American youth, we would suggest that future research focus on the interventions that may offer insights into preventing and ending homelessness for youth of color.