Although we often tend to picture homeless people as adults, homelessness also affects millions of children and youth in America. Two recent research publications on homelessness, notable for their breadth and depth, begin to sketch a picture of the situation of these young people and also shed light on other aspects of homelessness.
In one study, Homelessness: Programs and the People They Serve, Martha R. Burt and her Urban Institute colleagues include information on homeless parents and their children. This study, a report on the extensive 1996 National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers and Clients, describes homeless people as surveyed at soup kitchens, shelters, and other services for the homeless, not as they may exist in the general population. In "Homeless Youth: Research, Intervention, and Policy," Marjorie J. Robertson and Paul A. Toro extensively review the literature to sum up what we know about homeless youth between the ages of 12 and 17. The Robertson and Toro article is one of 11 studies in Practical Lessons: The 1998 National Symposium on Homelessness Research, which also covers topics such as outreach, clinical services, case management, continuum of care, transitional housing, special populations, advocacy, and reconnecting homeless people to the community.