Youth Homelessness

Homeless is a word packed with negative connotations and stereotypes – images of tent cities, beggars and dangerous irresponsible people come swiftly to mind. But homelessness is merely the lack of a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; a state not necessarily brought about by wrongdoing or fault of the homeless person.

Photo of a young adult couch-surfing
Photo of a young adult couch-surfing

Youth homelessness is often rooted in family conflict, circumstances like poverty and housing insecurity, racial disparities, mental health, and substance use disorders.

Every night, thousands of teens across South Carolina experience homelessness – couch surfing, sleeping in transitional shelters, motels, or hotels – without a parent/guardian and the safety, stability, and support of a family or a home.

Data presented above comes from the most recent available years of the U.S. Department of Education’s EDFacts Initiative.

Homeless young people are less likely to stay engaged with school, find jobs, get access to rental housing and maintain friendships. In addition, they are more likely to experience depression, poor nutrition, substance abuse, mental health problems, and are vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation.

Ending Homelessness for Youth & Young Adults

To end their homelessness, youth and young adults need stable housing, supportive connections to caring adults, and access to mainstream services that will place them on a path to long-term success.

  • With all the bad things going on in the world, this is such a good thing to be a part of. And, the youth that will be in this home, they are our future. So if we don’t help them with a future, we won’t have a future ourselves.

    Laura Taylor
    Board Member, Project Home Foundation

In Our Backyard – Charleston County

Closer to home, the Charleston County School District has seen an alarming number of homeless or displaced students over the past few years.

Data presented above comes from the most recent available years of the U.S. Department of Education’s EDFacts Initiative.