About Youth Homelessness

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They may be escaping abuse, or poverty, or struggling with mental illness, substance use, strained relationships, or may have been cast out due to gender or sexual identity, or lifestyle matters. They are experiencing homelessness in New Hampshire.

A ground-breaking study reveals that one in 10 young adults, 18-25, and at least one in 30 adolescents, 13-17, experience some form of homelessness over the course of a year. In New Hampshire, we estimate that 15,000 youth will endure homelessness this year. 70% of them will not have the option to return home.

Youth find themselves on the street most often because to them, it seems a lesser of evils (i.e. abusive or unhealthy environment at home), or that they had no choice. The majority of youth report that:

  • Their parents told them to leave or knew they were leaving and didn’t care.
  • They did not plan their departure and had $10 or less when they left home.
  • They have been affected by substance abuse and/or mental health issues.
  • They are or have been involved in unhealthy, violent relationships.
  • AND THEY ARE AT GREATER RISK for mental health problems
  • substance misuse
  • victimization
  • criminal activity
  • incarceration
  • sexual exploitation
  • health problems
  • barriers to education
  • unemployment
  • chronic homelessness as adults

The age group straddles between youth and adulthood: Although they are rarely treated as a distinct population, they are unique developmentally, emotionally, socially, and economically.

As a result of their homelessness, these youth face devastating harm and barriers in life, all of which hinder their ability to re-assimilate into society and become contributing members of their communities. Rates for these risk factors are exponentially higher for youth experiencing homelessness:


THE NEXT STEP. SleepOut 2023. Join us in raising awareness and funds to aid homeless youth and get another step closer to ending youth homelessness in NH,

Waypoint Family Support


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