The homeless and unstably housed youth of Rochester, who belong to a group of 1.5 million such youth nationwide, are at very high risk and have limited access to healthcare. This project will characterize and prioritize the unmet health needs of these youth in order to facilitate planning of improved health service delivery.
We will create a partnership with members of community organizations who work with runaway and homeless youth, to document the specific needs of this population. Our objectives are to develop focus group questions by a consensus process and pilot test them; recruit 50 youth who represent teens; summarize results and prioritize action items with community partners and other stakeholders; and prepare for presentation of results to broader community to initiate planning for the development of improved, accessible health services for these youth. Our long term goal is to develop tailored health services for homeless youth that meet their specific needs and are acceptable to this population. This project is the key first step.