Homeless Youth

Topics: Adolescence, Homelessness, Poverty Pages: 4 (1192 words) Published: February 1, 2008
Powers, Jane L. and Barbara Jaklitsch. Reaching the Hard to Reach. Education & Urban Society, Volume 25, Issue 4, August 1993.

At some point in time, all teenagers are expected to leave home and venture out on their own. Separating from parents and gaining independence are two central tasks that teenagers must overcome in order to become adults. Teenagers usually learn how to make this transition through either home or school. Unfortunately, there are some teens today that do not fully develop these two tasks before deciding to leave home. These teens are the teens that we see out on American streets today. Leaving home at an early age can be devastating to the teenager, the cities they live in, and our society, in general. Teens are often victimized and exploited fairly easily while they are out on their own. Due to this, crime rates skyrocket in cities with a large homeless teenage population. Teens often turn to drug trafficking, prostitution, and other forms of criminal activity in order to survive. In turn, this also causes a wide range of physical and mental health problems, including substance abuse. Although there are large numbers of homeless teens, they still remain lacking in many services. One of the most important services is education. This journal article focuses on the barriers to educating homeless teens and mechanisms that are being created to assist in helping them to survive.

Education is severely affected by homelessness. Most homeless adolescents do not attend school because they are unable to make it to school every day. This, in turn, causes teens to fall behind or fail classes. This causes them to end up dropping out of school. Schools are unable to help the homeless teen. Instead, they cause the teen more frustration and depression, thus encouraging them to stay away from education. Without the basic skills that one earns during high school, the teen is unable to gain legal employment. This not only affects their current...
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