MA IDS Thesis Projects

Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

College

College of Theology, Arts, & Sciences

Department

International Development and Service

Degree Name

International Development and Service, MA

Keywords

homelessness, youth homelessness

Abstract

Youth homelessness is a complex problem that has grown in severity over the years. Each year, millions of Americans experience homelessness and are faced with a variety of problems associated with it. Among these are severe health problems, violence, a lack of shelter, and drug abuse. Individuals with complex life issues are likely to become homeless because of a variety of reasons. Some are unable to hold a steady job so then cannot afford rent. Homelessness can also be a result of physical and sexual abuse. However, one of the most common reasons people become homeless is because of a lack of affordable housing for low-income individuals. Though these individuals may have jobs, they are still unable to pay housing expenses because of low wages. The issues affecting the homeless also affect a significant number of young people, creating a problem of youth homelessness. This thesis draws on a broad review of literature to outline best practices to address youth homelessness. Practices for identifying youths most at risk or those on the verge of becoming trapped in a cycle of homelessness will be discussed as well as possible solutions to address the variety of issues these youth experience. After reviewing the characteristics and causes of youth homelessness, interventions were developed to address housing and service needs of youth. These include interventions directed at youth, for example, providing employment and social skills training. Moreover, a reference guide was created for organizations to use that offers suggestions on how to reduce youth homelessness.

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