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As a result of the causes/reasons identified for youth homelessness, multiple issues affect these youth. These effects include contact with the criminal justice system, substance abuse, mental health concerns, sexual exploitation, and low levels of academic achievement. While specifically focusing on the academic achievement of homeless youth a rippling effect can be seen. It begins with a child or teen when first being without a stable living environment, which can result in a lack of attendance/focus in school, which then leads to low grades, and theses things combined can build up and lead to the negative consequence of not earning a high school diploma. This makes it difficult to gain a secure job, and with an inconsistent income, they may rely on illegal activities to survive, which will ultimately lead them into the criminal justice system.

According to ‘Teen Homelessness’, “According to a report published by the National Center for Homeless Education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, approximately 1.35 million homeless teens were enrolled in public schools during the 2016–17 academic year.” This quote allows the readers to be able to realize just how many young people there are all over the country in unstable living situations and how that number is steadily increasing. Being able to realize the causes of youth homelessness and its impact on young people is critical when seeking a solution that can help those young persons without a home build a supportive connection with someone who wants to provide help. Across the country, there are thousands of non-profit programs and organizations, as well as shelters and drop-in centers that are in place to provide for and help homeless youth. The programs and services that are currently in place to benefit homeless youth are critical for those young people who face multiple risk factors daily because they have no place to call home and are living on the streets. Based on research it is proven that participation in extracurricular activities or sports can be beneficial in keeping youth without a home off the streets and even prevent youth homelessness before it occurs.

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Engaging in activities with others can help with social inclusion, which allows them to feel a sense of belonging. Drop-in centers, which is another mode of support for homeless youth, are in place to provide necessities such as hygiene items, food, and someplace to wash clothes. According to, “How sports and arts can help prevent youth homelessness”, “Research shows that meaningful and accessible activities like sports and arts can have significant impacts on youth social connectedness, better developmental outcomes, improved mental health and recovery from trauma.” This proves how important something such as being a part of a basketball team is to someone who is used to constantly having to be alone trying their best to survive without a permanent home. Programs and services that have been implemented are important to the overall betterment of homeless youth. These young people need to have the ability to be a part of a system where they can build a trusting relationship with their school counselor, who will always be there to guide, advocate for, and support these homeless youth so that they can be better prepared for life after high school.

Homeless youth are faced with higher levels of stress and anxiety while their classmates can solely focus on their grades, these young people are often too busy focusing on daily necessities. Someone who can help to eliminate some of the pressures that may be weighing down on those young people without a home are counselors. Though many counselors may feel underprepared to accurately support the needs of those students without a permanent place of residence, with preparation and gained knowledge on youth homelessness they will be in a better situation to help these students to succeed. To help counselors obtain a better grasp of what youth homelessness is and in what ways they can help to support these young people, annually, a week before the school year begins classes should be held, where a liaison from a program directed toward helping homeless youth comes in and informs counselors of ways that they could be beneficial to homeless youth.

At the end of the session/class, the counselors should also receive a pamphlet that they could use to seek information from. According to, “The Hidden Homelessness among America’s High School Students”, “School counselors may meet homeless students’ basic needs by collecting school supplies, clothing or food items for students in need.” Counselors can organize school or community donation programs for homeless youth that can help provide the necessities these students need to survive outside of school. In addition to doing this counselors should regularly meet with those homeless youth and build a personal connection with these youth as well as to make sure that they are on track for graduation. With calculated planning, school counselors can make a positive impact on those students experiencing homelessness. Counselor support allows these young people to stay on track for graduating high school and attending a college of their choice.

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