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Report: Worcester’s Homeless Youth Population Remains Unchanged

Thursday, April 03, 2014

 

Thirty-two percent of homeless respondents were born in Worcester and 48% have lived in Worcester for more than one year.

A new report released today shows, that despite some encouraging trends, the percent of homeless youth in Worcester is nearly identical to the prior year's survey. Conducted in October 2013, the "2013 Point-in-Time Survey of Youth and Young Adult Homelessness" has revealed similar trends to prior years. Factors driving youth homelessness include family conflict and instability, lack of stable income sources, a history of housing insecurity, and systems involvement.

Positive and negative trends

Although the homeless youth population did not decrease, the report, which was conducted by the Community Roundtable on Youth Homelessness in conjunction with the Compass Project and Clark University, did illustrate some encouraging trends.

“What we found most encouraging is that compared to previous years fewer homeless youth are relying on illegal means, such as panhandling and hustling, to earn money,” said Laurie Ross, Clark University, 2013 Point-in-Time Presentation. “Even more encouraging is that homeless youth are much more likely to report that they got the help they needed when they sought assistance for issues such as housing, education support, employment, food, and health care.”

As for what’s most disheartening about the report, Ross told GoLocal. “What is discouraging is that the percent of homeless youth remained pretty much the same as last year.”

Homeless youth by the numbers

2012 Snapshot

  • 594 young people ages 13-25 responded to the survey.
  • 94 (16%) respondents were identified as homeless.
  • 66% homeless respondents were female.
  • 27% homeless respondents were male and 2.2% homeless respondents were transgender. Gender was missing on roughly 5% of the surveys.
  • 68% of homeless respondents identified as straight (78% of housed respondents identified as straight), 17% of homeless respondents identified as bisexual (8% of housed respondents) and 7% of homeless respondents identified as gay or lesbian (4% of housed respondents).
  • Homeless respondents tended to be older than housed respondents. The average age of homeless respondents was 21 years, while the average age of housed respondents was 17 years.
  • 45% of homeless youth left their homes by the age of 17. Seven homeless youth are still with their families; all of them are living in transitional housing or in shelter.
  • The primary reasons homeless youth were not with their families were due to youth fighting with care givers (21%); the house being too small for everyone (20%); and youth wanting to leave (20%).
  • More than double the number of homeless respondents had parents who had been homeless as compared to the housed respondents (34% vs. 16%).
  • 37% of all respondents had at least one friend who was homeless. 121 (31%) housed respondents had at least one friend that was homeless.
  • 3% of homeless respondents had served in the military.
  • 32% of homeless respondents were born in Worcester and 48% have lived in Worcester for more than one year.

 

Moving forward

In order to effectively address youth homelessness, it is necessary to properly distinguish youth homelessness from adult homelessness, Ross told GoLocal.

“What needs to be done in Worcester is to continue to educate the community about youth homelessness,” said Ross. “In reality, youth homelessness looks quite different than chronic adult homelessness; however, if we don’t intervene early, people who have early homelessness experiences are more likely to become homeless as adults. Young people who are homeless need more support than just housing. They need what all young people need—a stable foundation on which to build the skills to navigate healthy adulthood.”

In terms of legislation, Ross told GoLocal that there is a bill in the House that looks to address the homeless youth situation.

“Representative James O’Day is a sponsor of legislation House Bill 135 which seeks to improve and expand services for homeless youth,” said Ross. “This legislation needs to be funded to prevent the harmful effects of early homelessness on young people.

To read the fifth annual 2013 Point-in-Time Survey of Youth and Young Adult Homelessness in its entirety, click here.

 

Related Slideshow: Central MA Unemployment Rates #72 - #1

Here are the unemployment statistics for each town in Central Mass, ranked from least to most-

Prev Next

#72

Harvard

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 4.4%

Unemployed: 140

Employed: 3,059

Total workforce: 3,199

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#71

Hopkinton

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 4.7%

Unemployed: 369

Employed: 7,523

Total workforce: 7,892

Prev Next

#69 (Tie)

Berlin

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 4.9%

Unemployed: 79

Employed: 1,520

Total workforce: 1,599

Prev Next

#69 (Tie)

Hopedale

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 4.9%

Unemployed: 159

Employed: 3,074

Total workforce: 3,233

Prev Next

#67 (Tie)

Bolton

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 5.1%

Unemployed: 147

Employed: 2,733

Total workforce: 2,880

Prev Next

#67 (Tie)

Southborough

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 5.1%

Unemployed: 257

Employed: 4,813

Total workforce: 5,070

Prev Next

#66

Marlborough

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 5.5%

Unemployed: 1,283

Employed: 21,909

Total workforce: 23,192

Prev Next

#65

Northborough

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 5.6%

Unemployed: 432

Employed: 7,259

Total workforce: 7,691

Prev Next

#62 (Tie)

Mendon

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 5.7%

Unemployed: 196

Employed: 3,218

Total workforce: 3,414

Prev Next

#62 (Tie)

Princeton

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 5.7%

Unemployed: 107

Employed: 1,764

Total workforce: 1,871

Prev Next

#62 (Tie)

Topsfield

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 5.7%

Unemployed: 176

Employed: 2,910

Total workforce: 3,086

Prev Next

#61

Boylston

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 5.8%

Unemployed: 134

Employed: 2,167

Total workforce: 2,301

Prev Next

#58 (Tie)

Shrewsbury

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 5.9%

Unemployed: 1,084

Employed: 17,152

Total workforce: 18,236

Prev Next

#58 (Tie)

Sterling

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 5.9%

Unemployed: 256

Employed: 4,112

Total workforce: 4,368

Prev Next

#58 (Tie)

Westborough

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 5.9%

Unemployed: 525

Employed: 8,415

Total workforce: 8,940

Prev Next

#56 (Tie)

Sturbridge

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.0%

Unemployed: 306

Employed: 4,763

Total workforce: 5,069

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#56 (Tie)

Upton

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.0%

Unemployed: 241

Employed: 3,752

Total workforce: 3,993

Prev Next

#53 (Tie)

Douglas

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.1%

Unemployed: 290

Employed: 4,469

Total workforce: 4,759

Prev Next

#53 (Tie)

Hudson

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.1%

Unemployed: 696

Employed: 10,740

Total workforce: 11,436

Prev Next

#53 (Tie)

Milford

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.1%

Unemployed: 954

Employed: 14,670

Total workforce: 15,624

Prev Next

#51 (Tie)

Oakham

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.3%

Unemployed: 65

Employed: 973

Total workforce: 1,038

Prev Next

#51 (Tie)

Sutton

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.3%

Unemployed: 302

Employed: 4,500

Total workforce: 4,802

Prev Next

#48 (Tie)

Holden

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.4%

Unemployed: 576

Employed: 8,430

Total workforce: 9,006

Prev Next

#48 (Tie)

Paxton

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.4%

Unemployed: 158

Employed: 2,327

Total workforce: 2,485

Prev Next

#48 (Tie)

Shirley

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.4%

Unemployed: 223

Employed: 3,269

Total workforce: 3,492

Prev Next

#46 (Tie)

Ayer

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.5%

Unemployed: 283

Employed: 4,100

Total workforce: 4,383

Prev Next

#46 (Tie)

Hardwick

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.5%

Unemployed: 94

Employed: 1,359

Total workforce: 1,453

Prev Next

#45

Grafton

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.6%

Unemployed: 635

Employed: 9,043

Total workforce: 9,678

Prev Next

#42 (Tie)

Hubbardston

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.7%

Unemployed: 163

Employed: 2,255

Total workforce: 2,418

Prev Next

#42 (Tie)

Millbury

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.7%

Unemployed: 489

Employed: 6,787

Total workforce: 7,276

Prev Next

#42 (Tie)

Petersham

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.7%

Unemployed: 43

Employed: 596

Total workforce: 639

Prev Next

#40 (Tie)

Lancaster

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.8%

Unemployed: 240

Employed: 3,281

Total workforce: 3,521

Prev Next

#40 (Tie)

Townsend

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.8%

Unemployed: 346

Employed: 4,738

Total workforce: 5,084

Prev Next

#38 (Tie)

Charlton

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.0%

Unemployed: 491

Employed: 6,483

Total workforce: 6,974

Prev Next

#38 (Tie)

Dudley

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.0%

Unemployed: 431

Employed: 5,696

Total workforce: 6,127

Prev Next

#33 (Tie)

Auburn

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.1%

Unemployed: 613

Employed: 8,024

Total workforce: 8,637

Prev Next

#33 (Tie)

East Brookfield

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.1%

Unemployed: 86

Employed: 1,129

Total workforce: 1,215

Prev Next

#33 (Tie)

Holland

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.1%

Unemployed: 99

Employed: 1,291

Total workforce: 1,390

Prev Next

#33 (Tie)

New Braintree

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.1%

Unemployed: 40

Employed: 524

Total workforce: 564

Prev Next

#33 (Tie)

Rutland

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.1%

Unemployed: 313

Employed: 4,081

Total workforce: 4,394

Prev Next

#32

Oxford

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.2%

Unemployed: 548

Employed: 7,032

Total workforce: 7,580

Prev Next

#31

Uxbridge

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.3%

Unemployed: 536

Employed: 6,784

Total workforce: 7,320

Prev Next

#30

Leicester

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.5%

Unemployed: 450

Employed: 5,565

Total workforce: 6,015

Prev Next

#27 (Tie)

Ashburnham

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.6%

Unemployed: 236

Employed: 2,865

Total workforce: 3,101

Prev Next

#27 (Tie)

Lunenburg

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.6%

Unemployed: 398

Employed: 4,850

Total workforce: 5,248

Prev Next

#27 (Tie)

Northbridge

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.6%

Unemployed: 608

Employed: 7,383

Total workforce: 7,991

Prev Next

#26

Spencer

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.7%

Unemployed: 492

Employed: 5,935

Total workforce: 6,427

Prev Next

#24 (Tie)

Ware

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.9%

Unemployed: 394

Employed: 4,611

Total workforce: 5,005

Prev Next

#24 (Tie)

West Boylston

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.9%

Unemployed: 259

Employed: 3,035

Total workforce: 3,294

Prev Next

#21 (Tie)

Brimfield

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 8.0%

Unemployed: 152

Employed: 1,745

Total workforce: 1,897

Prev Next

#21 (Tie)

Templeton

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 8.0%

Unemployed: 305

Employed: 3,520

Total workforce: 3,825

Prev Next

#21 (Tie)

Westminster

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 8.0%

Unemployed: 297

Employed: 3,417

Total workforce: 3,714

Prev Next

#19 (Tie)

North Brookfield

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 8.1%

Unemployed: 195

Employed: 2,224

Total workforce: 2,419

Prev Next

#19 (Tie)

Palmer

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 8.1%

Unemployed: 508

Employed: 5,772

Total workforce: 6,280

Prev Next

#18

Warren

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 8.4%

Unemployed: 209

Employed: 2,271

Total workforce: 2,480

Prev Next

#17

West Brookfield

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 8.6%

Unemployed: 155

Employed: 1,652

Total workforce: 1,807

Prev Next

#15 (Tie)

Royalston

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 8.7%

Unemployed: 52

Employed: 547

Total workforce: 599

Prev Next

#15 (Tie)

Webster

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 8.7%

Unemployed: 723

Employed: 7,569

Total workforce: 8,292

Prev Next

#13 (Tie)

Brookfield

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 8.8%

Unemployed: 163

Employed: 1,695

Total workforce: 1,858

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#13 (Tie)

Millville

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 8.8%

Unemployed: 158

Employed: 1,642

Total workforce: 1,800

Prev Next

#11 (Tie)

Barre

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 8.9%

Unemployed: 244

Employed: 2,510

Total workforce: 2,754

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#11 (Tie)

Worcester

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 8.9%

Unemployed: 7,562

Employed: 77,653

Total workforce: 85,215

Prev Next

#9 (Tie)

Ashby

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 9.0%

Unemployed: 149

Employed: 1,503

Total workforce: 1,652

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#9 (Tie)

Orange

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 9.0%

Unemployed: 332

Employed: 3,356

Total workforce: 3,688

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#7 (Tie)

Blackstone

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 9.2%

Unemployed: 488

Employed: 4,824

Total workforce: 5,312

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#7 (Tie)

Clinton

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 9.2%

Unemployed: 676

Employed: 6,652

Total workforce: 7,328

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#6

Winchendon

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 9.3%

Unemployed: 453

Employed: 4,407

Total workforce: 4,860

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#5

Leominster

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 9.6%

Unemployed: 1,937

Employed: 18,141

Total workforce: 20,078

Prev Next

#3 (Tie)

Southbridge

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 9.9%

Unemployed: 787

Employed: 7,127

Total workforce: 7,914

Prev Next

#3 (Tie)

Gardner

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 9.9%

Unemployed: 934

Employed: 8,514

Total workforce: 9,448

Prev Next

#2

Fitchburg

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 10.0%

Unemployed: 1,829

Employed: 16,435

Total workforce: 7,914

Prev Next

#1

Athol

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 10.5%

Unemployed: 543

Employed: 4,647

Total workforce: 5,190

 
 

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