New Brief: Homelessness Among U.S. Youth
Homelessness among youth in the United States is an alarming program. Estimates of the number of unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness for at least one night each year range from 500,000 to 1.7 million. This new brief by The National Center explores challenges experienced by homeless youth and discusses the use of a trauma-informed approach and individual service plans to meet needs. Read the brief.
Working with Trauma Survivors Experiencing Homelessness
In "Addressing the Needs of Families Experiencing Homelessness," Dr. Carmela DeCandia, Director of The National Center, recalls an experience of working with a trauma survivor:
I remember one afternoon at the program. I sat across form a young mother while her child played on the floor with the toys in my office. The mother was not following program rules. As her story unfolded, I realized that what looked like oppositional behavior on the surface was really a response to being "triggered" - essentially, something about the program reminded her of past experiences of abuse and she was reacting to protect herself. The thing was, this kind of reaction didn't just happen int he program. It was happening at her job and in her relationships. This young mother then pulled several medications out of her bag. She had not seen her doctor in more than six months, never knew her diagnosis or had a treatment plan, and had no idea what the medications were for. When we began discussing trauma, she started to cry. She said this was the first time anyone had taken the time to understand what might be going on with her. She was almost 30 years old. My heart sank. No one should have to wait that long to feel understood. Continue reading.