2017 Maine Homeless Youth Risk Behavior Survey (MHRYBS)

A comparison of the health risk behaviors of homeless youth to those of typical public high school students in Maine.

In 2017, 279 youth were surveyed in communities across Maine in an effort to measure the personal safety, sexual, and substance use behaviors of homeless youth in Maine, as well as to understand these risk behaviors in comparison to their in-school peers. The information contained within this report can be used in many ways, including to support organizations and professionals as they work to improve risk behavior education that engages homeless youth and youth at risk of homelessness.

The results of this survey show that Maine’s homeless youth are at increased risk for HIV infection, abuse, interpersonal violence, and trauma, and also engage in more frequent risk behaviors than their in-school peers. Additionally, young women and LGBTQ+ youth who are experiencing homelessness are at particular risk for negative health outcomes.

Results of the 2017 MHYRBS include:

  • 85% of homeless youth report having Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
  • The percentage of homeless youth who are transgender is more than twice the percent of in-school peers who are transgender
  • 1 in 10 homeless youth surveyed have traded sex to meet needs
  • Homeless youth are more than 3 times as likely to have attempted suicide in the past year than their in-school peers

For printed copies, or to request the full MHYRBS Results, email prevention@newbeginmaine.org or call 207.795.4077 x208.