It is estimated that 1.6 to 1.7 million youth experience homelessness on their own each year.
These youth live in a variety of unsafe, temporary situations, including cars, parks, the homes of others, shelters, and motels. Most of these young people have left home due to severe family dysfunction, including abuse and neglect. Studies have found that 20-40% of unaccompanied homeless youth were abused sexually in their homes, while 40-60% were abused physically. Over two-thirds of unaccompanied homeless youth report that at least one of their parents abuses drugs or alcohol. 20-40% of unaccompanied homeless youth identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or questioning.
Seeking to continue expanding services that support our students, SHIP, with the help and support of our Leadership Frederick County’s Leaders on Loan team, intends to pilot an intensive mentoring program beginning in late Spring 2018. Modeled in part after other successful programs found elsewhere, we expect to initially focus our efforts upon unaccompanied youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian, and in their mid-to-late teens.