24-Hour Helplines

Domestic Violence: (209) 465-4878 | Sexual Assault: (209) 465-4997
Youth/Human Trafficking: (209) 948-1911


Homeless and Runaway Youth


Homeless Youth-Statistics



  • One in seven young people between the ages of 10 and 18 will run away
  • Youth age 12 to 17 are more at risk of homelessness than adults
  • 75 percent of runaways are female
  • Estimates of the number of pregnant homeless girls are between 6 and 22 percent
  • Between 20 and 40 percent of homeless youth identify as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender or Questioning (GLBTQ)
  • 46 percent of runaway and homeless youth reported being physically abused, 38 percent reported being emotionally abused , and 17 percent reported being forced into unwanted sexual activity by a family or household member
  • 75 percent of homeless or runaway youth have dropped out or will drop out of school

Homeless Youth-Myths & Facts

MYTH: Homeless youth don’t want services.
FACT: Most youth do want help. They want to have a normal life, go to school, start a career, develop relationships. They just don’t know how with the limited resources available to them. Many services are difficult or impossible to access without a parent’s signature, proper identification, medical insurance, etc. Others have long waiting lists.

MYTH: Homeless youth want to be on the streets.
FACT: Most homeless youth leave their families because of abuse, neglect and violence not because they choose to, but because they must.

MYTH: Homeless youth are mostly criminals, use drugs and are bad kids.
FACT: Most homeless youth only turn to crime and drugs when all other options have failed them. Many are victims, not perpetrators

MYTH: Homeless youth are different than other kids.
FACT: Homeless youth are looking for the same things most kids want, a home, a stable life and enough resources to do the things they enjoy.

MYTH: There are not that many homeless youth.
FACT: 1.8 – 2.1 million youth are homeless in the United States each year.