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1A Remaking America: Understanding youth homelessness

Telfair Elementary school children cast shadows as they arrive at Operation School Bell in Pacoima, California.
Telfair Elementary school children cast shadows as they arrive at Operation School Bell in Pacoima, California.

If you turn on the T.V. and see a news story about homelessness in the U.S., what image do you think you’d see?

The focus of these stories can often be homelessness affecting adults in big cities. In some ways, that makes sense. Cities on average have less affordable housing. They also tend to have more concentrated social services available to people experiencing homelessness. 

But homelessness or housing insecurity has many faces including young people and families living in rural parts of the country. Data is scant on how many young people experience homelessness, where they are, and what they need to gain stable housing.

We hear the story of Anthony, a young man in Colorado, profiled by KUNC’s Unseen but Everywhere” series about youth homelessness. We try to understand thestate of youth homelessness in America today, including in places we don’t traditionally consider.

Who’s affected? What are we doing to help them, and what more needs to be done to reduce homelessness among young people, some of the most vulnerable folks in our communities? 

This show is part of 1A’s “Remaking America” project with six public radio stations, including KUNC in Northern Colorado. Remaking America is funded in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 

Copyright 2024 WAMU 88.5

Michael Falero