Getting a count of homeless youth

homeless youth count sign showing them feeling invisible“Where did you sleep on the night of January 26th?”

This is the question nationwide homeless shelters, nonprofits, government programs and other agencies asked to get a one night snapshot of how many homeless children, youth and adults are in Utah and across the nation.   

As part of the 2011 Homeless Point In Time Count, Youth Services joined forces with homeless shelters across the nation counting everyone who slept in their beds that night; volunteers canvassing homeless camps and gathering areas to determine who slept in abandoned buildings, cars, camping grounds or other outdoor settings. We did our part by surveying youth and families we served through our free counseling, Homeless Youth Walk-in and our Juvenile Receiving Center services.

Getting an accurate count of homeless youth can be very difficult.  Homeless youth can often be overlooked. They don’t stay in the same areas as homeless adults and they usually don’t want to be found. They also might not consider themselves homeless if they are couch surfing at a friend or relatives home. So why is it important to count them? 

What are the Benefits of Accurate Data on Homelessness?
Communities need accurate data to:homeless teen

  • Determine the size and scope of the homeless problem at the local level
  • Plan services and programs appropriately to address local needs
  • Measure progress in addressing homelessness
  • Measure performance of individual programs and the system as a whole
  • Inform policymakers, program administrators and the public of the homeless needs and issues
  • Attract resources by spreading information about the needs and issues

Here’s what the National Alliance to End Homelessness said about including homeless youth in the point in time count:

If homeless youth are not included in local point-in-time counts, their needs could be under-represented as governments, nonprofits, and key stakeholders at the federal, state, and local level plan to respond to the problem.

Our goal is that by participating, Youth Services will help advocate for homeless youth funded programs and help paint a picture of the needs that exist. We will keep you posted when the data will be published.


 Youth Services Homeless Youth Walk In Program

Related Posts:

Using Music to Reach Out to Homeless Youth 

Statewide Homeless Resources:


About stevedt1954

I graduated from Weber State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications/Speech. I then received a Master of Education in Guidance and Counseling from Brigham Young University. After some postgraduate work I received a Utah state license in Marriage and Family Therapy. I began my government service with Salt Lake County Division of Youth Services as a Youth Counselor in 1979 and have served as a therapist, Group Home Manager, YSC Clinical Director, YSC Assistant Director, Program Manager for Interim Shelter and Juvenile Receiving Centers and currently is Clinical Director for the Division. I previously worked as a counselor at Heritage Youth Services, Clearfield Job Corps, Project New Pride, and currently am a part-time therapist for LDS Family Services and has a small private therapy and coaching practice.
This entry was posted in Homeless Youth, Safe Place, SLCO and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Getting a count of homeless youth

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Getting a count of homeless youth | The Youth Booth – Youth Services --

  2. Karina says:

    I work for a not-for-profit that helps the homeless in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Is it possible to use the black & white picture that you have posted on this blog, on a presentation we are creating? We would like your permission to use it.

    Thank you for your help and your work to reach the homeless youth!

  3. Pingback: homeless to open london olympics | Mr. Kate

  4. Pingback: References « gmhsc

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