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Homeless Youth Put at Further Risk While Waiting for Promised Aid

While Mayor Bill de Blasio promised homeless youth in early 2017 that they would be given access to housing vouchers to help them pay rent, only 9% of the 655 young people who exited long-term youth shelters in June were able to secure their own apartments. Another 10% ended up in the city’s notorious adult shelter system, which can be a particularly unfriendly environment for LBGTQ+ individuals, according to THE CITY. Currently, the only way for homeless youth to access housing aid is to move into an adult shelter after they turn 21, leaving thousands of vulnerable youth at risk.

“I’m always struck by it. I tend to reach out to my young clients often on their birthday, and I happen to be someone who loves birthdays. But it’s not a happy day when they age out of a place they feel safe and accepted and affirmed,” said Beth Hofmeister, Staff Attorney in our Homeless Rights Project.