Youth Homelessness

Young people experiencing homelessness are our neighbors with unique needs and challenges.
My Friend’s Place is here to help.

Youth homelessness is a national and local crisis.

Youth experience homelessness for a variety of reasons. Many are escaping abusive homes, emancipating from the foster care system or were raised on the street with parents who had fallen victim to the cycle of homelessness.

Studies have shown that there are approximately 2.4 million youth experiencing homelessness in the U.S.

  • 25 percent of former foster youth nationwide reported that they had been homeless at least one night within two-and-a-half to four years after exiting foster care.
  • It is estimated that 100,000 children are victims of commercial sexual exploitation each year.  Homeless and runaway youth are the most vulnerable population.
  • 40 percent of the runaway and homeless youth population identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) as compared to 10 percent in the general population.
  • About 25 percent of the homeless population has a serious mental illness, including chronic depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

More than 4,000 young people experience homelessness on any given night in Los Angeles.

Locally, the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority found that roughly 4,000 youth experience homelessness on any given night in Los Angeles county. Of that, more than half are residing in the city of Los Angeles.

According to the 2019 Homeless Youth Count by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), of the nearly 4,000 youth experiencing homelessness in L.A county...

  • 42% report a history of domestic violence or intimate partner violence
  • 24% experience one or more severe mental illnesses
  • 16% of unsheltered youth are currently enrolled in school
  • 27% have at least one child
  • 52% have lived in Los Angeles County for more than 10 years
  • 92% cite a fragile social network as a main reason for homelessness

My Friend's Place is uniquely suited to serve the most vulnerable young people within the homeless population, including those with severe mental health conditions, substance use, and extensive trauma histories.