Forty percent of Hollywood’s homeless youths ended up on the streets at some point after having been removed from their homes by a city, county or state department of children and family services. That's the stunning word from a survey conducted by Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and the Hollywood Homeless Youth Partnership.
The preliminary report also found a troubling correlation between youths who had spent time in foster care services, then ended up on the streets. According to the data, 48 percent of the youths surveyed said that they were involved with a city, county or state department of children and family services or child protective services.
The survey, which was conducted between February and July 2007, focused on runaways and homeless youths between the ages of 12 and 25.
The youths, who were recruited from drop-in centers, shelters, residential programs, a health clinic, and the streets, were asked to participate in an hour-long “Community Needs Assessment” survey. The computer-assisted survey included questions about race, gender, sexual identity, foster care involvement, and education and employment status. In total, 389 runaways and youths were surveyed.
In addition, the report found that 60 percent of those living on the streets or in shelters were male. Five percent were transgender. Over one-third (or 36 percent) surveyed identified as being gay, lesbian or bisexual.
Fifty-one percent were victims of child physical abuse, 23 percent were victims of child sexual abuse.
Some 13 percent said they were sexually assaulted on the street, while 21 percent admitted they were physically assaulted. Thirty- three percent disclosed that they carried a weapon for protection.
A full report of CHLA’s findings will be released this fall.