November is National Homeless Youth Awareness Month. Educate yourself and your community about the issue of youth homelessness and what we can do to end it in Maine!
- Every year in Maine, at least 15,000 youth and young adults experience the tragedy of homelessness; in fact, this year more than 30% of Maine’s homeless population is under the age of 24
- For most of 2022, Preble Street has seen higher than ever numbers of youth staying in the Joe Kreisler Teen Shelter (JKTS), including numerous nights with all beds full. As of September 30, 168 youth have stayed at the shelter in 2022 for a total of 5,477 bed nights. That’s 5,477 times that a young person slept in a warm, safe bed instead of on the street.
- 85% of Maine homeless youth report having had adverse childhood experiences (trauma)
- Homeless youth experience higher levels of human trafficking, interpersonal violence, suicide, untreated mental health and substance use disorders, and trauma than housed peers
- Youth homelessness disproportionately affects BIPOC and LGBTQ+ youth
- In 2021, at the Preble Street Joe Kreisler Teen Shelter, 55% of the youth and young adults identified as Black, African American, or Indigenous, compared to 1.9% of Maine’s general population
- LGBTQ+ young people are 120% more likely to experience homelessness than their non-LGBTQ+ plus peers
- Maine is ahead of many other states when it comes to addressing youth homelessness! Led by homeless youth in our state, Preble Street worked with other stakeholders to create a statewide plan to prevent and end youth homelessness. Check out the HOME plan here.
- As part of our efforts to address the growing crisis of youth homelessness beyond Cumberland County, Preble Street has expanded our Teen Services to include robust Teen Outreach and Housing programs
- We CAN end youth homelessness in Maine, and one big part of the solution is for landlords to partner with Preble Street and other agencies and rent to youth looking to get off the streets and move forward with their lives. Learn more at LandlordsHelp.org or email LandlordsHelp@preblestreet.org
- We CAN come together and advocate for laws and policies that address the root causes of youth homelessness, such as generational poverty and a lack of support for youth aging out of foster care
- Despite facing overwhelming obstacles, youth can and do move out of homelessness and into a hopeful future. Read Dominick’s Story for a reminder of how amazing Maine youth are!
We meet incredible young people through our programs — youth who, against all odds, overcome barriers and circumstances most of us could not imagine and work to reclaim their lives. Clients are the experts of their own experiences and caseworkers support them in setting and achieving their goals of independence, stability, and safety. Each of
Since last month’s highlight on youth homelessness in Maine, the Joe Kreisler Teen Shelter has reached maximum capacity several days in a row for the first time in over three years. Preble Street will never turn a minor youth away, and while at maximum capacity, staff are working with community partners and youth 18 and
Imagine that you are just 17, 18, or 19 years old. You’ve had to leave home as your parents are struggling with their own mental health issues and it is not safe for you to stay there. You have no other support system and have just lost any sense of stability and safety you once