The Las Vegas Valley has the second greatest rate of “unaccompanied, unsheltered homeless youth” amongst significant U.S. cities, and Nevada continues to have the highest rate of unsheltered homeless youth in the nation, according to researchers in the UNLV College of Urban Affairs.
While the problem is severe, the ways to counteract the concern are ending up being clearer.
UNLV’s researchers state the numbers, detailed in the 2017 Yearly Homeless Assessment Report by the Department of Real Estate and Urban Advancement and provided at the 2018 Southern Nevada Youth Homelessness Summit Nov. 2, become part of a pattern of raised rates of unaccompanied homeless individuals under 25 years of ages across the west.
Those rates have social and financial effects for Nevada and its homeless youth, especially considering that most are over 18 and are eligible to become part of the labor force, stated Patricia Cook-Craig, associate teacher in the School of Public Policy and Leadership.
Cook-Craig presented findings from three Research in Short papers that might decrease the problem and detailed the impact those services would have on the estimated 2,100 homeless youths in Nevada.
” It’s not just that we want more services or more funding,” she stated. “We want to specify where we’re in fact avoiding the issue of youth homelessness from ever happening.”
The new Southern Nevada Plan to End Youth Homelessness, a roadmap to deal with the concern established by a community-wide network called “The Movement,” is offered on the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth’s #BetheMovement website.
” It is necessary to understand the level of the issue,” stated Cook-Craig. “It’s important to utilize data moving forward to understand when we are innovating that the kinds of services we’re putting on the ground are in fact making the modification we need.”
The interdisciplinary research team included professors with expertise in criminal justice, social work, and public law. They collaborated with students and community members to take on 3 main concerns brought to them by the Nevada Collaboration for Homeless Youth. First, what is the economic cost of homelessness among youth in the area? Second, how do state and local laws affect that population? And finally, How does Nevada’s technique to the problem look like or differ from that of comparable states?
Clark County has the second highest rate of unaccompanied, unsheltered youth in the nation, with only the San Jose/Santa Clara, California, area faring worse.
Labor force development concerns and the shortage of housing and shelter beds were popular reasons homeless youths dealt with obstacles in improving their futures.
Southern Nevada’s homeless youth between the ages of 15 and 18 earned about $3,600 to $4,800 less yearly than the typical regional youth. For homeless youth in between the ages of 19 and 24, that vary reaches between $13,400 and $14,800.
Without the economic contributions of homeless youth and the effect those earnings make on the local economy in the type of taxes, costs, etc., the scientists approximate Nevada has actually suffered a financial loss ranging from $23.5 million to $35.8 million. “These expense price quotes are based on the variety of youth year to year so if varieties of homeless youth decrease, the loss to Southern Nevada also decreases,” Cook-Craig stated. “The picture is this: There is an unbelievable cost for our youth, for our community since we are simply not preparing and we are not reacting to the needs homeless youth have.”
The Research in Short papers established by UNLV researchers require Nevada policymakers to attend to the concern through 5 new efforts.
The researchers recommend better tracking of homeless youth once they get in the help pipeline; more resources and improved interaction between state agencies; interaction between the state and its regional peers handling youth homelessness; programs to improve access to tasks; and campaigns to increase awareness among policymakers of laws that impact homeless youth.
Cook-Craig pointed out that policies such as curfew policies for all youth may be well-intentioned however can damage unsheltered homeless youth, who are at threat of legal repercussions for just being in the incorrect place at the incorrect time.
” There are a great deal of policies out there that homeless youth intersect with, however they’re not composed for homeless youth. They’re not about or for homeless youth, but it so happens they may impact positively or adversely a young adult who is homeless,” Cook-Craig stated.
About the Researchers
The annual summit was the result of an ongoing collaboration in between the College of Urban Affairs, Nevada Collaboration for Homeless Youth, Las Vegas Sands Corp., and the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The group responded to the concerns in 3 different Research in Quick documents:
One of the documents examined how laws relating to truancy, healthcare, the juvenile justice system, education, and other locations impact homeless youth. The authors are faculty members Kathleen Bergquist (UNLV social work), Patricia Cook-Craig (School of Public Law and Leadership), William Sousa (department of criminal justice); Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth Executive Director Arash Ghafoori, Hannah Nelson, a UNLV social work graduate student, and Melissa Jacobowitz, a graduate of the general public administration program from the School of Public Policy and Management.
The 2nd paper compares demographics, real estate schedule, wage info, and youth services throughout the significant U.S. cities with the highest and least expensive rates of youth homelessness. The authors are: Cook-Craig, Carlton Craig (School of Social Work), Ghafoori and Jacobowitz, and local high school student volunteer Katie Lim.
The final paper takes a look at the earnings space in between Southern Nevada’s homeless youth and other non-homeless youth. The paper analyzes the losses to the state in terms of tax profits and tasks when homeless youth face work and financial drawbacks. The professors authors are Jaewon Lim (School of Public Law and Management), Cook-Craig; Ghafoori and Jacobowitz, and Saba Manesh, a UNLV engineering trainee.