Arizona's Homeless Youth Information...

• It is estimated that each day in Arizona 1,780 youth under 18 are on their own and homeless. In February 2004, only 78 youth under 18 were documented to be living in a motel, shelter or in transitional housing.

• In 2004, Arizona law enforcement agencies filed 5,534 arrest reports for runaways. The number of runaway reports annually has been slowly increasing over the past several years.

• In 2004, there were an estimated 59 beds know as emergency community beds that can serve homeless youth, as well as 66 transitional housing beds.

• According to the 2003 Homeless Youth Survey by the Arizona Department of Economic Security, Arizona’s homeless youth programs served a diverse population. For youth under age 18, 57 percent of the homeless youth served were white, not Hispanic; 26 percent were Hispanic; 11 percent were African American; and 5 percent were American Indian. The youth were slightly more likely to be female (56 percent).

• Half of the homeless youth under 18 receiving community-based services noted that they were abandoned or ran away from home.

• In 2007 the National Runaway Switchboard received 3,033 calls from runaways in the state of Arizona.

• In a survey of 250 homeless youth in Tucson, 32 percent indicated they had been physicallyabused as children and 58 percent noted they had experienced emotional or verbal abuse as children. Thirty percent of these children ran away from home because of problems and 29 percent were kicked out of their homes.

• Each year, an estimated 14,500 to 17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked into the United States. The number of U.S. citizens trafficked within the country each year is even higher, with an estimated 200,000 American children at risk for trafficking into the sex industry. (U.S. Department of Justice. 2004. Report to Congress from Attorney General John Ashcroft on U.S. Government Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons in Fiscal Year 2003. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice.)

Arizona Action

• The Arizona State Legislature established a Homeless Youth Intervention Program (HYIP) which began on January 1, 2000 with an appropriation of $400,000 per year in federal TANF block grant funds.

• The goal of the HYIP program is family reunification or increased self-sufficiency skills for the youth when family reunification is not an option. The program’s focus, through case management services, is to provide the youth and their families with the resources they need to meet their goals.  These resources can include crisis services, counseling, family reunification, job training and employment assistance, assistance in obtaining shelter, transitional and independent living services, meeting educational needs including character education and many other services that may be necessary.

• The HYIP direct service providers include Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development, Open Inn, Inc. and Our Family Services. The providers serve Maricopa, Pima and Yavapai counties.

• In fiscal year 2008, 82 percent of the youth who participated in services completed some of their goals, with 45 percent completing 100 percent of their goals. Of those who participated in services, 55 percent had a positive resolution through family reunification.

• Since the beginning of the HYIP program in February 2000, 1373 youth have been referred to the program. 62 percent of these youth have engaged in some type of service.

2 All information is from: The Current Status of Homelessness in Arizona and Efforts to Prevent and Alleviate Homelessness, Arizona Department of Economic Security, November 2004 (Tucson survey is from December 2003 report), with the exception of the arrest report information on runaways. This is from DPS, “Crime in Arizona: 2004” report. Information provided by staff at Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development.