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The Crisis of Teen Homelessness

One out of every 45 children – some 1.6 million – in the United States is homeless, according to a report released by the National Center on Family Homelessness. The majority of the children are under age 7. The number of homeless children in 2010 exceeded even the total in 2006, when thousands of families displaced by hurricanes Katrina and Rita produced a historic spike in homelessness. Last year, at least 60,000 more children were homeless.

Teen Homelessness

1.2 Million.

This is the number of homeless and runaway youth that Covenant House has helped with food, shelter, warmth, and love since opening its doors more than 35 years ago. The needs are greater than ever, though, as each year more than 2 million kids in America will face a period of homelessness.

What Would You Do to Survive Homelessness?

Would you climb into a dirty dumpster filled with trash, because at least inside a Dumpster you would be shielded from the wind and covered from the cold?

Would you find your way into a dark and abandoned building, huddle under newspapers, and try to ignore the rats scrambling on the floor around your feet?

Would you escape underground to the subway and lie on the dirty floor, praying that no one will kick you or hurt you while you sleep?

If you were a homeless kid, you might do any or all those things ... you might not have a choice.

Every day, Covenant House gives shelter to homeless kids and responds to their most pressing needs. Last year alone, more than 55,000 homeless kids got help in Covenant House programs, including:

  • Just under 28,000 kids in our crisis shelters, long-term residential programs, the Mother/Child program and our Community Service Centers located in neighborhoods across the United States, Central America, and Canada
  • More than 28,000 helped through Street Outreach Programs, where staff and volunteers search in vans and on foot for kids in desperate need

Teen homelessness robs our communities of the potential talent and energy of these young people. They are our future, and they need our support. Covenant House is committed to providing a place of shelter and support for every homeless kid who passes through our doors.