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SOC 3710 (183)

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SOC 3710
Bill O' Grady

February 12/2013 Young Offenders Homeless Youth o Young people who have left their home or origin and are not staying with any other care giver o 3 living arrangements 1. Absolutely homeless: staying outdoors, sleeping in parks, on roof tops, alley ways, squats, (abandoned buildings), under 16 can't stay in shelters 2. Shelters: majority of these shelters take in kids, provide food and clothing, sleeping arrangements, between the ages of 16-24 3. Couch surfing: usually staying with relatives, friends, bounce around from place to place o Sometimes homeless youth are technically housed but are still utilizing the services for street youth - health clinics, soup kitchens o Street counts: focuses on youth who are in shelters o There is no known number of how many homeless youth there are in Canada o Toronto: any given night there may be about 2 million homeless youth Research o Young white, middle class females were seen as run aways in America o These kids could more accurately be described as "throw aways" - kicked out of there homes o Back in the 80's we began to realize that a lot of the kids on the streets had problems at home - abusive parents, drug and alcohol addicted parent o Homelessness is more of a process than an event: a lot of kids will take off but since their parents call the police, they become "missing persons"  Average time kids go missing: 2 days  They become repeat missing people before they actually stay away for good Background: who is homeless? o Non heterosexual youth are more likely to be homeless - about 20% in Toronto o Don't do well in school o Negative home environment o Poor families that move around a lot o Usually can't tolerate the circumstances in their households and say life on the streets is less stressful o A lot of homeless youth had grown up in foster care or group homes o Ethnic composition in Toronto: pretty much reflective of the general population o 51% in Toronto homeless youth are either immigrants or ethnic minorities o Aboriginal kids are overrepresented in street counts o Up until the 90's, most research was looking at who these kids where and why they were on the streets. The interest began to shift to why so many of them were involved in crime o Mean streets: book - did a study of street youth in Toronto and Vancouver  Interviewed kids in shelters about theft, drug dealing and prostitution  They wanted to know if their backgrounds were different than others who didn't get involved in these activities  Could background predict crime involvement? Looked at family life, how well they did in school  Theory connection: can use social bonding theory and strain theory to take home environments into account  Also asked situational factors about their current living situations: how many times have you gone without food in the last week, where did you sleep last night, how much money do you have in your pocket  Predictors of crime: found that the best predictors of getting involved in the sex trade, B & E etc, were situational factors, which background factors were good at explaining why kids end up on the streets in the first place  Duration of time on the street also relates to crime- the longer, the more likely to get involved in crime  Social service model: higher amo
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