How many homeless youth are in Washington State? Why do youth leave home? Do youth on the streets really experience sexual exploitation? How many homeless youth are LGBTQ? Do homeless youth use drugs more than their housed peers?

Find the answer to these common questions and more. Discover insightful statistics and information about youth homelessness below.

Share this resource with others and help raise awareness and understanding around the misconceptions of why youth become homeless (spoiler: they aren’t just rebellious teenagers) and how big of a problem it is in our country.

Student Homelessness

How many students in Washington are experiencing homelessness? How does it affect their academic outcomes?

Quick Fact: At 40,934, the number of students experiencing homelessness in Washington is growing faster in Washington than the national average. 

Homelessness in WA State

What factors put youth at risk of experiencing homelessness? What resources are available in Washington state counties, and where are there gaps?

Quick Fact: Ninety percent of youth accessing shelter claim that they experienced conflict (such as abuse, domestic violence, addiction, neglect, etc.) at home.

The Housing Crisis

What do people make on average, and what does on average it cost to rent a house in Washington? Is there a big gap?

Quick Fact: Someone earning $11.75/hr would have to work 75 hours a week to afford a 1-bedroom rental home at fair market rent.


What factors, like unemployment or mental health, put an individual at more risk of experiencing homelessness?

Quick Fact: Individuals with a history of incarceration were 7.6 times as likely to experience adult homelessness.

Sexual Exploitation & Trafficking

Are homeless youth in danger of sexual exploitation or being trafficked?

Quick Fact: 32% of homeless youth interviewed had engaged in the sex trade.

Correlation Between ACEs and Homelessness

Does experiencing more ACEs increase your risk for experiencing homelessness?

Quick Fact: For each additional type of childhood adversity that an individual reported experiencing, their risk of adult homelessness increased by 40%.

Leaving Home

Why do youth run away from home? How does this impact their lives?

Quick Fact: 46 percent of runaway and homeless youth reported being physically abused. 

Mental Health

How does being homeless affect the mental health of youth?

Quick Fact: More than 40% of homeless teens struggle with depression. 


What role do factors like race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and economic status play in youth homelessness?

Quick Fact: Approximately 12 to 36 percent of youth exiting the foster care system become homeless. Up to 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ.

Substance Abuse

Are youth at the streets at higher risk of addiction? Do homeless youth fall into substance abuse more than their housed peers?

Quick Fact: 80% of homeless youth age 18-21 use drugs or alcohol as a means to self-medicate to deal with traumatic experiences and abuse. (