The Issue

The Issues

40% of the youth that walk through our doors have been a victim of youth trafficking, while 22% of the those youth were approached their first night on the street…

Every Year, More Than 1.6 Million Young Adults in America Will Face a Period of Homelessness

Behind the face of every homeless young person is another heartbreaking story – a teenage boy abused by his alcoholic parent, a pregnant girl rejected by her guardian, or a teenager trying to escape gang membership or a life of forced prostitution.

In case after case, the main cause of youth homelessness is physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse from parents or guardians.

The facts about homelessness are staggering … but acknowledging the depth of the problem is the first step in fixing it.

  • 57% of homeless young people spend at least one day every month without food
  • 49% lack a high school diploma or GED
  • 84% are unemployed upon admission to Covenant House Washington
  • 30% have history of Foster Care or Residential Placement
  • 64% report history of physical and/or sexual abuse
  • In the United States, as many as 20,000 young adults are forced into prostitution by human trafficking networks every year.
  • According to a study of youth in shelters, nearly 50% reported intense conflict or physical harm by a family member is a major contributing factor to their homelessness.
  • More than 25% of former foster youth become homeless within two to four years of leaving the system.
  • 50% of youth aging out of foster care and juvenile justice systems will be homeless within six months because they are unprepared to live independently and have limited education and no social support.
  • Almost 40% of the homeless in the United States are under 18.

In addition to these heartbreaking statistics, a study issued by the Covenant House Institute revealed that:

  • 41% of Covenant House youth witnessed acts of violence in their homes.
  • 36% of Covenant House youth indicated that someone in their family used drugs regularly.
  • 19% of Covenant House youth reported being beaten with an object.
  • 19% of Covenant House youth reported that they have endured sexual abuse.
  • 15% of Covenant House youth reported that someone close to them had been murdered.