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Abstract

Street kids are a feature of many cities, but only recently have they been included among the homeless. They were defined as runaways, throwaways, or youth in crisis. They had a place to live, even if it was a foster or group home or an institutional setting. However, many are without shelter at one time or another and face the same problems as the chronic homeless: the need for food and shelter, avoidance of victimization, and help for personal problems. In 1988, the National Institute of Mental Health funded three national demonstration projects on adolescent homelessness. We report findings from one of those, in Portland, Maine. The focus was individual, organizational, and systemic dimensions of the problem and how public policy can be responsive to the needs of this subgroup of the homeless.

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