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The Issues

Learn about the issues—from mental health to human trafficking—that impact and drive youth homelessness.

Mental Health & Wellness

Studies show that depression, anxiety, substance use, and post-traumatic stress disorder are among the most common mental health issues young people facing homelessness experience. 

Covenant House provides sanctuary and immediate & ongoing care for our youths’ mental health needs. Our trauma-informed, resilience-focused programing acknowledges the high-stress lives our children and youth have experienced. We’ve designed our programs to help them deal with the effects of homelessness as they advance toward a better future. 

Discrimination & Hardships Faced by the LGBTQ+ Community

Youth who come to Covenant House program do so bearing complex histories of trauma. LGBTQ+ youth are further traumatized by rejection they may have experienced in their families, schools, and communities due to their gender identity or sexual orientation.

LGBTQ+ youth face greater risk of homelessness than their non-LGBTQ+ peers. They also face higher levels of hardship than other youth living homeless. Covenant House offers all youth a safe place to live and heal. We help our young people develop a lifelong foundation of self-love and self-respect.

Child Welfare Services & the Foster Care System

By starting where the foster care system left off, Covenant House works to uplift youth using a trauma-informed, resilience-focused approach.

Whether they have aged out of foster care or received a poor placement, foster care involved youth have often experienced substantial trauma. On top of that, youth that age out of the system tend to experience higher rates of unemployment, involvement in the criminal justice system, and poverty as compared to individuals their age that are not involved in the child welfare system.

Human Trafficking

Every year, traffickers generate more than $150 billion in profits by exploiting millions of people worldwide. This criminal industry targets children and youth experiencing homelessness.

Because so many young trafficking survivors face homelessness before being trafficked, they often have no place to go after escaping these circumstances. Covenant House provides refuge for these children and youth, offering a complete approach that includes direct care, advocacy, and research, to ensure we can best serve young survivors.