2004 Census and Survey of Homeless Youths in Homer, Alaska

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Show simple item record Rosay, André B. 2014-05-27T18:09:23Z 2014-05-27T18:09:23Z 2005-06-01
dc.identifier.citation Rosay, André. (2005). 2004 Census and Survey of Homeless Youths in Homer, Alaska. Report prepared for the Child Advocacy Coalition of Homer. Anchorage, AK: Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage. en_US
dc.identifier.other JC 0506.01
dc.description.abstract In the spring and summer of 2004, we conducted a homeless youth survey and assessed the services available to these youths in order to identify gaps in services. As we interviewed youths, it became clear that we interviewed youths at vastly different stages of homelessness. At the first stage were youths who had less experience being homeless or had just begun their homeless experience. We categorized these youths as runaways. At the second stage were youths who experienced longer, more extensive, or more intense periods of homelessness. We categorized these youths as chronic homeless youths. Runaway youths became homeless primarily because of problems at home, suggesting a need for greater family counseling in Homer. Runaway youths were also heavily involved in drug and alcohol use, suggesting a need for greater drug and alcohol programming. When runaway youths were directly asked about needed services, most expressed needs for additional recreational activities, particularly in terms of places were youth would be welcome. As homelessness progresses from the runaway stage to the chronic homelessness stage, the needs of homeless youths changed. Once at the chronic homelessness stage, the needs of homeless youths become more focused on employment assistance. Chronic homeless youths were homeless because they simply could not afford housing in Homer due to a lack of meaningful employment with decent pay and benefits. Compared to runaways, it is more difficult for chronic homeless youths to transition back into permanent housing. However, employment assistance would allow these youths to transition back into permanent housing. Results from the services survey indicate that many services are already available to homeless youths in Homer. In particular, the basic physical needs of homeless youths appear to be adequately satisfied. Few youths expressed needs for these services. Youths who did express such needs were able to receive these services and held favorable opinions about the services they had received. However, fewer agencies provided employment assistance, drug and alcohol programming, family counseling, or recreational opportunities to homeless youths. At the same time, these were significant needs expressed either directly or indirectly by the homeless youths surveyed. The recommendations that emerge from this study are therefore to enhance employment assistance (particularly for chronic homeless youths) and to enhance drug and alcohol programming, family counseling, and recreational opportunities (particularly for runaway youths). Employment assistance should be designed to lead youths into productive and meaningful careers that provide enough pay to afford housing. All services should be developed so that they are available during the summer (when youths are out of school) and to all youths, including ones who have stopped going to school. Furthermore, it is critical to keep the costs of these services as low as possible, as most of these youths (and their families) have few financial resources. Finally, more should be done to make available services known to homeless youths, particularly to runaway youths. Although many services are already provided to youths in Homer, most runaway youths were unaware of these services. With help and guidance, all youths can successfully transition back into permanent housing. At the same time, these services may prevent youths from becoming homeless. en_US
dc.description.tableofcontents I Project Overview A. Project Objectives B. Homeless Definition C. Stages of Homelessness D. Project Design 1. Homeless Youth Census 2. Homeless Youth Survey 3. Services Survey 4. Gaps Analysis / II. Census Results A. Homer Population Estimates and Characteristics B. Total Homeless Population in Homer C. Youth Homeless Population in Homer D. Summary / III. Youth Survey Results A. Youths at Different Stages of Homelessness B. Demographics C. Residential History D. Alcohol and Drug Use E. Income F. Daily Activities G. Health H. Legal and Safety Issues I. Opinions Regarding Available Services J. Summary / IV. Services Survey Results A. Services Provided B. Summary / V. Conclusion A. Summary of Youth Survey Results B. Summary of Services Survey Results C. Identifying Gaps in Services D. Recommendations / VI. Appendices A. Youth Survey B. Youth Survey Results C. Services Survey D. Services Survey Results en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center en_US
dc.title 2004 Census and Survey of Homeless Youths in Homer, Alaska en_US
dc.type Report en_US

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