Anderson participates in homeless youth count

Anderson Participates in Homeless Youth Count

According to the 2014 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, nearly one-third of the U.S. homeless population is children and youth. This number has increased significantly in Georgia due to sex trafficking, child welfare systems and the growing number of youth abandoned because of their sexuality.

This summer, assistant professor Courtney Anderson participated in Atlanta’s first comprehensive project to count and assess the number of homeless youth in Atlanta: the Atlanta Youth Count! led by Georgia State sociology professors Eric Wright and Erin Ruel. The project team, which consists of Georgia State students and faculty as well as local organizations and service providers, not only counted the number of homeless youth in the state but also examined the state of youth homelessness.

This project was a natural fit for Anderson, who was hired in 2012 as part of a faculty cluster with the School of Public Health focusing on achieving health justice through improving health equity and reducing health disparities. She has previously written on homeless youth and housing, and her Law and Health Equity course connects students with community members to address issues impacting health.

“My involvement with the project highlighted the need for client interactions skills and the gaps in the laws serving this community,” Anderson said. “I plan to use the information from the count to inform my future research, as well as to involve my students in legal solutions to the homeless crisis in Atlanta.”

The researchers intend to present their findings and recommendations based on the field journals and surveys completed over the summer to legislators late in fall 2015.