New report shows factors contributing to youth homelessness in Arizona
PHOENIX — Mental illness and emotional abuse by parents are contributing factors to youth homelessness in Arizona.
That’s according to a new report from Arizona State University. Of the 199 young homeless adults surveyed, about one-third were victims of sex trafficking.
“We also had a disproportionate number of young people, [ages] 18 to 25, who identified as having a drug addiction as well as growing up in a home with a family member who is using drugs and alcohol in front of them,” said Dominique Roe-Sepowitz, associate professor at ASU and director of the ASU Office for Sex Trafficking Intervention Research.
The study also found about 40 percent of those surveyed attempted suicide.
“Many of them had really serious life challenges that were very difficult to manage,” Roe-Sepowitz said.
She said over sixty percent of those surveyed were kicked out of their home and LGBTQ young adults are more likely to be kicked out of their homes. More than half of sex trafficking victims in the survey identified themselves as LGBTQ. Roe-Sepowitz said their office is training workers to help victims of sex trafficking.
“We’re making sure that anyone who’s working with a young person who’s at risk has an idea of what those risk factors are,” Roe-Sepowitz said.
They have also created a website that lists services throughout Arizona available for sex trafficking victims, such as housing and counseling.
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