The State of Youth Homelessness in Southern Nevada

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

UNLV College of Urban Affairs


In this paper we explore data and research that assesses the state of youth homelessness in Southern Nevada. The picture is a disquieting one where the rate of children becoming homeless is increasing while the response is at best not able to keep up with the need. Historically, the most reliable estimates of homelessness did not include reports of unaccompanied youth, making it difficult to even articulate the need. In recent years, with the addition of counts of unaccompanied children and youth to national and local Point in Time (PIT) Count data collection protocols, we can now confirm what service providers in the region have been expressing: that Nevada, and Southern Nevada in particular, is experiencing a crisis. Nevada has consistently ranked 4th in the nation on the most vulnerable population of homeless youth, unaccompanied homeless youth, and 1st on unsheltered unaccompanied youth. Data and research on the extent of the problem and the causes and consequences associated with youth homelessness points to the need to rethink the current response to vulnerable children in the region.