09/18/2013 06:43 pm ET Updated Nov 18, 2013

Social and Economic Crises Increase Youth Homelessness

It's pretty much common sense that a bad economy will influence youth homelessness both in the present and in the future, but I never thought about that 18 to 21 year-old's today were entering this world around the same time crack cocaine was becoming popular. Crack literally destroyed families then, and continues to destroy families today. Yesterday, I learned that the political differences in families around the Vietnam War also created an increase in youth homelessness. These days, it's sexuality!

As we learned in my first interview on this road trip, our current economic crisis caused families to "downsize" and kick out their older kids, which influences youth homelessness now, and because homelessness can often be generational, it will influence homelessness in the future.

Meet Lenny Prewitt, program manager for Family Links, a youth and family services organization in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Lenny has been working with youth time and has been lots of changes that were a result of both national and local social and economic changes.


Very special thanks to Family Links.
This Invisible People road trip is made possible by Sevenly and Virgin Mobile USA, who are partnering to end youth homelessness through Virgin Mobile USA's initiative, RE*Generation. For more information please click here.