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Vanessa Fry

By: Brady W Moore   Published 7:27 am / October 31, 2017

Portrait of Vanessa Fry

Vanessa Fry

Assistant Director
Idaho Policy Institute
School of Public Service

Vanessa Fry revealed findings from her research on Ada County’s homeless youth in a public presentation on Oct. 24 co-hosted by Ada County, which partnered with the City of Boise and IPI on the study. The research contributed to Voices of Youth Count, a national effort aimed at ending youth homelessness, coordinated by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Fry discussed the process of conducting the research as well as the challenges involved. Her presentation also considered how the research could be used by policymakers and service providers to tailor effective services for the unaccompanied youth segment of the homeless community.

Among the key findings were:

  • Black or African American and multiracial youth were overrepresented among the Ada County population of homeless or unstably housed youth. Six percent of the surveyed youth identified as black or African American and 11 percent as multiracial, yet they represented only 1 percent and 3 percent, respectively, of the overall Ada County population.
  • Forty-nine percent of the surveyed homeless and unstably housed 16- to 24-year-olds in Ada County were neither in school nor working, as compared to 12 percent of all 16- to 24-year-olds in Ada County.
  • Forty-five percent of Ada County homeless and unstably housed youth had either been in foster care or spent time in juvenile detention or jail or prison only but 24 percent had experienced both.
  • Twenty percent of females were either a parent or pregnant, while 18 percent of males were either parents or their partners were pregnant.