Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Adolesc Health. 2011 Dec;49(6):615-20. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2011.04.021.

Finding shelter: two-year housing trajectories among homeless youth.

Author information

Center for Community Health, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA.



The aim of this study was to (1) identify trajectories of homeless youth remaining sheltered or returning to shelter over a period of 2 years, and (2) to identify predictors of these trajectories.


A sample of 426 individuals aged 14-24 years receiving services at homeless youth serving agencies completed six assessments over 2 years. Latent class growth analysis was applied to the reports of whether youth had been inconsistently sheltered (i.e., living on the street or in a squat, abandoned building, or automobile) or consistently sheltered (i.e., not living in any of those settings) during the past 3 months.


Three trajectories of homeless youth remaining sheltered or returning to shelter were identified: consistently sheltered (approximately 41% of the sample); inconsistently sheltered, short-term (approximately 20%); and inconsistently sheltered, long-term (approximately 39%). Being able to go home and having not left of one's own accord predicted greater likelihood of membership in the short-term versus the long-term inconsistently sheltered trajectory. Younger age, not using drugs other than alcohol or marijuana, less involvement in informal sector activities, being able to go home, and having been homeless for <1 year predicted membership in the consistently sheltered groups versus the long-term inconsistently sheltered groups in the multivariate analyses.


Findings suggest that being able to return home is more important than the degree of individual impairment (e.g., substance use or mental health problems) when determining the likelihood that a homeless youth follows a more or a less chronically homeless pathway.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center