Young, Unsheltered and in Harm’s Way: Promoting Health and Development through Disentangling Youth Violence, Homelessness, and Criminal Justice

Location: San Francisco, California

PROJECT SUMMARY: Among youth experiencing homelessness, the potential for violence and its negative outcomes is exacerbated by multiple modifiable community-level factors. While effective youth violence prevention programs have been identified, most inadequately address the needs of youth experiencing homelessness, particularly those 18 to 24 years of age. Our multidisciplinary team will employ a mixed-methods design to identify and investigate the community factors that contribute to violence for youth experiencing homelessness in San Francisco, describe how criminalization and homelessness impact violence, and investigate how identified community factors can be leveraged or modified to protect youth from violence and promote their well-being. At the national level, our work is timely because it addresses an emerging awareness of the links between youth homelessness, violence, and criminal justice involvement. Locally, key stakeholders and youth leaders have prioritized violence as a key area for intervention for youth experiencing homelessness. We have a unique window of opportunity for synergy to implement the findings of our project to influence the approach to violence and youth homelessness, not only in San Francisco but also nationally.

Young, Unsheltered and in Harm’s Way: Promoting Health and Development through Disentangling Youth Violence, Homelessness, and Criminal Justice
TEAM MEMBERS

[Pictured from Left to Right]

  • Colette Auerswald, MS, MD, FSAHM, Associate Professor, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley; Co-Director, Innovations for Youth (i4Y), San Francisco, California
  • Sherilyn Adams, MS, Executive Director, Larkin Street Youth Services, San Francisco, California
  • Marguerita Lightfoot, PhD, Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF); Chief, Division of Prevention Science and Director, Center for Prevention Studies and UCSF Prevention Research Center, San Francisco, California

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