Youth homelessness is an issue all over the country and specifically affects Black and queer communities. A new study goes deep into the numbers, and reveals they are more disproportionate than ever before.
Dr. Coco Auerswald of UC Berkeley, who studies youth homelessness, details how Black youth are affected. Auerswald tells CBS, “60% of kids who are homeless in Berkeley are African American. This is not a 60% African American city by any means.”
The research also finds, according to Dr. Auerswald, that “49% of the Bay Area is made up of people of color, yet 80% of our homeless youth are people of color. 12% of the region’s population identify as LGBTQ, yet 46% of our homeless youth identify as LGBTQ, according to a report on how to end youth homelessness by Larkin Street Youth Services.”
Thankfully, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington and Austin, Texas have all seen major decreases in youth homelessness, but there is still more work to do. Auerswald is asking for a statewide homelessness plan in California. Auerswald also wants to make it illegal to discharge anyone from jail, foster care or a hospital on the street.