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Eligibility requirements

  • Ages 13 to 19
  • Attending high school in districts served by HYC
  • Enrolled in the McKinney-Vento program at their school
  • Substance free
  • Homeless or without a stable home through no fault/choice of their own

School Partners

Agua Fria Union High School
Basha High School
Buckeye Union High School
Cactus High School
Camelback High School
Centennial High School
Coldwater Academy
Continuing Education Academy
Copper Canyon High School
Desert Edge High School
Dysart High School
Estrella Foothills High School
Estrella High School
Higley High School
Horizon High School
Independence High School

Ironwood High School
La Joya High School
The Learning Center
Liberty High School
Lighthouse Academy
Millennium High School
Moon Valley High School
New Directions
North Canyon High School
Odyssey High School
Ombudsman Charter Metro
Ombudsman Charter Northwest
Ombudsman Charter West
Paradise Valley High School
Peoria Accelerated High School
Peoria Flex Academy
Peoria High School

Pinnacle High School
Raymond S. Kellis High School
RCB Medical Academy
Shadow Mountain High School
Shadow Ridge High School
Sierra Linda High School
Student Choice
Sundown High School
Sunrise Mountain High School
Tolleson High School
Tonopah Valley High School
University High School
Valley Vista High School
Verrado High School
Westview High School
Williams Field High School
Willow Canyon High School
Youngker High School

Studies have shown that:

  • Youth age 12 to 17 are more at risk of homelessness than adults
  • 75 percent of runaways are female
  • Estimates of the number of pregnant homeless girls are between 6 and 22 percent
  • 46 percent of runaway and homeless youth reported being physically abused, 38 percent reported being emotionally abused , and 17 percent reported being forced into unwanted sexual activity by a family or household member
  • 75 percent  of homeless or runaway youth have dropped out or will drop out of school
  • There are more than 6,000 homeless youth ages 12-19 in Maricopa County

What are the causes of youth and teen homelessness?

Young people are at far greater risk of becoming homeless if:

  • Their parents engage in substance abuse or have mental health problems.
  • They suffered or witnessed child abuse or neglect in the home.
  • The family has been homeless previously.
  • They identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
  • They have been in foster care.
    • Children who have been in foster care are at greater risk of becoming homeless at an earlier age
      and to remain homeless for a longer period of time than other youth.

In the words of our students and partners:

“HYC has greatly impacted my life tremendously in such a positive way. They helped me find a great host family, and assisted me with everything to help me transition to adulthood. Without HYC I wouldn’t be where I am today.”  – Ashley, student

“I was really fortunate to have so many people [through HYC] helping me up, that a bad situation became much more bearable.” – Trenton, student

“HYC is a beautiful organization that I believe will change the world, one teen at a time. Because I know they’ve shaped me for the better, and even my friends and family for the better who aren’t even a part of the program.” – Kalie, student

“From clothes to hygiene, I was always provided with everything I needed. HYC was extremely beneficial to me and a blessing in my life. I went from feeling like I was trapped to having so many supporters help me along the way, and I had hope that there was a future for me in store.” – Jamie, student

“HYC has helped me accomplish things that I never thought possible. Everybody in this organization genuinely cares about the students they help. They have helped me to become more confident in the things I do, and to not limit myself.” – Tyler, student

“My life was horrible, but HYC gave me hope that things could get better. Now I’m on my way to start my life and graduate with the rest of my class.” – Alexis, student

“I wanted to thank you for your help and [HYC’s] help. Your endless wisdom about college and just life in general has given me many strong points as an Black woman to stay strong and how to survive in general. I am truly thankful.” – Ariana, student

“HYC has been an amazing resource for so many of our kids in need this year.  They are the paramount [example] of how community resources and schools should work together to bridge the gap.”  – Leslie Deegs, Guidance Counselor at Raymond S. Kellis High School

“This has been an incredible journey…Thank you, HYC, for allowing me to welcome these two fabulous young men into my home and our family. HYC has provided so very much assistance to us on so many levels. To watch these two extraordinary young men overcome so many obstacles was simply amazing .I was very humbled and elated to feel the excitement as they had their graduation ceremonies..something that seemed impossible without Homeless Youth Connection.” – Patty H., Host Family to two HYC students