Roughly 4.2 million youth and young adults experience homelessness in the United States each year, including one in 10 young adults ages 18 to 25 and one in 30 youth ages 13 to 17. This is likely an undercount due to varying definitions of homelessness and challenges with contacting unhoused people, particularly unhoused youth. Homelessness is often hidden among youth and young adults since many are not in shelters and may transition between temporary sleeping arrangements with friends or acquaintances.
Youth and young adult homelessness is a complex, challenging issue that intersects multiple policy areas, including human services, health, education, employment and criminal justice. This collection of NCSL resources provides state legislatures with tools and policy opportunities to prevent and reduce youth and young adult homelessness.