More than six percent of youth in South Bend Schools don’t have stable housing. That’s according to a survey run by the Youth Services Bureau (YSB) and IU South Bend.
Youth with unstable housing in South Bend are less likely to have regular medical care, and more likely to have unmet physical or mental health needs. These numbers are largely in line with similar nationwide surveys.
The Indiana University School of Medicine in South Bend ran the survey. The goal was to identify unmet health needs in South Bend’s kids.
“The more we know about the issues and the gaps that these young people are identifying as far as accessing physical and mental health care," said Christina McGovern with the YSB. "The more we can look at who else can we partner with in the community to make sure that we can message that these services are available.”
Of about 1,100 student surveyed:
- 6.6 % of students surveyed responded as unstably housed.
- 19% of unstably housed youth visited local Emergency Departments 2 more times in the past six months. Compared with 6% of their stably housed counterparts.
- 39% of unstably housed youth do not have a personal doctor or ‘medical home” compared with 15% of students with stable housing.
- 76.3% of unstably housed youth have had difficulty accessing mental health services
McGovern said they hope to use the information to reach out and get youth the services they need.
She said the Bureau has a full-time thearapist available to youth and families at it's Safe Station Shelter. The YSB can also connect youth to other mental and physical health services in the community.