Abstract for: Hidden Youth Homelessness: Addressing Administrative Data Limitations Using Qualitative System Dynamics

Youth homelessness is an urgent and growing problem in the United States. Recent estimates suggest over 4 million youth experience homelessness annually, but limited data about this highly stigmatized and largely hidden population hinder accurate counts. The present study addresses the policy-practice information gap by integrating qualitative group modeling into a larger HUD-funded project aimed at quantifying youth homelessness. In addition to presenting simulated trends of hidden and observed youth homelessness, we describe the fit of qualitative system dynamics for identifying feedback loops in social service delivery. Findings aim to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of youth homeless services.