The most recent state-wide count in 2015 identified 3,000 unstably housed youth ages 14-24 in Connecticut.  Housing instability was defined as having no secure ‘rights of tenancy’ (for themselves or through a parent/guardian) including, but not limited to those living in shelters, transitional housing programs, couch surfing, doubled up, hotel or motels, in parks, on the streets in cars, abandoned buildings, or other places not fit for human habitation.

Of these 3,000 youth:

  • More than 40% indicated they had no permanent place to live for over a year
  • 38.6 % identified their race as “black” and 36% identified ethnicity as Hispanic
  • 30% of females indicated they were pregnant or parenting
  • 25% of “literally homeless” youth self-designated as gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or questioning
  • 33% had DCF/Foster Care involvement
  • 22% had Criminal Justice involvement

Please see full report here: 2015 Point-in-Time Count (includes Youth Homelessness Count)

The “Invisible No More” study conducted in 2013-14
used a convenient and snowball sample of young people experiencing housing insecurity. A total of 98 young people were interviewed in Bridgeport, lower Fairfield County, Hartford, New Haven, and New London. These young people completed structured and open-ended interviews about their experiences across several domains, including basic demographic information, education, housing, financial, family, peer, criminal justice, mental health, physical health, substance use, trauma, and personal functioning. In addition to structured interviews, a select group of young people completed semi-structured interviews that sought to identify the lived experiences of these young people over the past six months.

Key observations from the completed structured interviews include:

  • 52 (54.6%) females, 41 (42.3%) males, and 3 (3.1%) transgender respondents completed the interviews;
  • 43 (49%) African American, 22 (25%) Mixed race, 21 (24%) Caucasian, 1 (1%), and 1 (1%) American Indian/Native American;
  • 33 (35%) were of Hispanic/Latino descent;
  • Respondents were 18.95 (SD = 2.47) years (14-24 years);
  • 75 (77%) identified as heterosexual and 22 (23%) identified as either bisexual, gay, lesbian, or not sure;
  • 82 (86%) were born in the United States;
  • 32 (35%) completed the 12th grade, 24 (26%) completed the 11th grade;
  • 25 (27%) received special education services at school;
  • 29 (32%) dropped out of school;
  • 10 (12%) reported that their school told them they could no longer attend;
  • 63 (66%) were unemployed and 28 (26%) were employed part-time;
  • Over 60% of the young people reported that their average income was between $0 and $4,499 or less than $100 per week;
  • About half of the young people were raised by their mother and ••• were raised by both their mother and father;
  • About half of the young people reported family contact with the Department of Children and Families (DCF);
  • 40 (41%) reported being in their current living situation for less than 3 months;
  • 66 (70%) reported moving two times or more in the past year;
  • Most of the young people reported having tried cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana;
  • One quarter of the young people reported considering suicide over the last year;
  • The modal number of traumatic experiences endorsed was 5;
  • Several youth reported that they had traded sex for money (N = 7; 7.1%), a place to stay (N = 8; 8.2%); and drugs or alcohol (N = 4; 4.1%);
  • 83 (89%) of the young people were sexually active with an average of 5.6 sexual partners;
  • 23 (23.5%) of the youth first experienced sexual intercourse at age 12 or under;
  • 16 (17%) reported having a FWSN (Family with Service Needs) petition filed against them;
  • 47 (50%) were arrested at least once in their lifetime;
  • 36 (39%) reported having been incarcerated in jail, prison, juvenile detention or residential facility;
  • 56 (57%) received food stamps.

See full report here:  Invisible No More (Study on Homeless Youth in Connecticut)



Building on the momentum developed in response to the findings that identified more than 3,000 youth and young adults throughout Connecticut, state and local organizations across Connecticut have joined to develop strategies to end youth homelessness by the 2022 goal.  Click here to see the list of partner organizations.