Discovery Home Care Emergency Youth Shelter directly addresses the youth homeless issue by bridging emergency youth shelter accommodations and much needed supplemental services to address the unique needs of the youngest victims of the homelessness epidemic. As the issues of youth homelessness continue to emerge, viable and proven practices are critical to cauterizing the emergent wound of homelessness on its most vulnerable victims.
According to the National Runaway Switchboard (NRS), between 1.6 and 2.8 million runaway and homeless youth live on the streets of America each year, youth aged 12-17 are at the higher risk for homelessness than adults. One out of every seven children will run away before the age of 18. And each year approximately 5,000 runaway and homeless youth die from assault, illness, and suicide.
In North Carolina, 57% of homeless children live in emergency or transitional shelter, 27% reside in permanent sup¬portive housing, while 18% remain unsheltered. The growing number of homeless youth displaced as a result of transient behavior (runaway) or the severe economic hardship of their families has stressed resources not fully equipped to service whole families or younger populations that require specific care. North Carolina had an estimated 1,231 homeless families on a single night in 2008, with providers serving more than four times their bed capacity over the course of the year. The stress on local emergency shelters is challenging and requiring that these shelters provide ongoing, holistic services for this growing population of transient children.