The first big study of homeless teenagers and young adults in Anchorage paints a disturbing picture. Nearly half of the girls who show up at the Covenant House shelter have been sexually abused. Nearly a third already have children of their own or are pregnant. Increasing numbers are coming from the Bush, and only a few rural teens had a high school diploma or equivalency.
The homeless urban kids weren't much different. Not many of those from Anchorage had finished high school either, according to the study by the Institute of Social and Economic Research at UAA. It was released this week.
Researchers examined 10 years' worth of data about kids seeking help at Covenant House, Alaska's only shelter for homeless teens.
"This is the bottom. We are looking at about as difficult as life can get," said lead researcher Stephanie Martin of ISER.
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