Title of Abstract: A Survey of Community Resources for Homeless Youths Across Central Ohio
Name of Mentors: Sarah Chingos and Deb Tegtmeyer
Mentors’ Organizations or Departments: McKeen Center, Bowdoin College; Licking County Coalition for Housing, Ohio
Research Abstract: Urban and rural youth homelessness often take on distinct characteristics, yet non-profits and government agencies are left to create resources for diverse regions. Under the direction of the Licking County Coalition for Housing, I conducted a survey of community leaders and aid agencies to assess the resources available to homeless youths in Ohio Homeless Planning Region 9. Data showed a large concentration of resources in metropolitan areas with a significant reduction in shelters and health clinics in more rural counties. Community organizations also encountered “at-risk” homeless youth populations in a calendar year such as pregnant youths, LGBTQ youths, or victims of sex trafficking or domestic violence. Barriers to public and private aid for “at-risk” homeless youth remain, including a lack of inclusive lettering on organizational websites for the LGBTQ community and identification of sex trafficking or domestic violence victims.