Who Is Helping Our Young Adults?

Voices of Louisville’s Young Adults | March 26, 2013 Issue Brief #2

Who Is Helping Our Young Adults? They Told Us: “No One” 

Who can young adults in crisis without support turn to for help? 

When young adults were surveyed about who they turned to for help in reaching their goals or fulfilling their basic needs, an alarming number replied, “No one.”

Young Adults were asked who helps them with the following areas: discussing the future, transportation, babysitting, school, health/healthcare, food, clothing, housing, money, safety, and faith/spirituality. Possible responses included: Parent, Other Relative, Guardian, Friend My Age, Spouse/Live-in Partner, Teacher, Adult Friend, Case Manager/Agency Staff, No One or Other.

In four areas, the top re-sponse was “No one.” (See chart above for top seven areas.) Twenty-six percent of all the possible responses were “No one,” indicating that many Young Adults answered “No one” more than once, with three respondents selecting “No one” as an answer nine times out of eleven possible needs. Only 22% (21 Young Adults) did not answer “No one” to any of the questions. Older Young Adults (20-24 years) were significantly more likely to select “No one” as a response.

“No matter what
don’t depend on no one but myself” 

Where do our Young Adults live? 

For the 95 Young Adults surveyed, the answer to “Where are you living now?” ranged from “Parents” to “Homeless Shelter.” The chart (left) breaks out the living situation of the 95 Young Adults at the time of the survey.

Based on their living situation, at least 45% of the Young Adults included in the survey had regular access to case management services. Young Adults who lived independ-ently or with parents or relatives, may also have had ac-cess to case management services through non-housing programs.


What do you worry about the most? “Being alone?”. 

What kind of help do you think people your age need?  “Someone to care about them…” 

Who is Filling the Gap? They told us: “Case Managers” 

In addition to the alarming num-ber of “No one” responses (page 1), when young adults were surveyed about who they turned to for help in reaching their goals or fulfilling their basic needs, a significant number replied “Case Manager/Staff.”

Twenty-three percent of all the possible responses were “Case Manager/Staff,” indicating that many Young Adults answered “Case Manager/Staff” more than once, with four respondents selecting “Case Manager/Staff” as an answer nine times out of eleven possible needs, and one respondent answering “Case Manager/Staff” ten times out of eleven.

The chart below highlights the importance of relationships with program staff.

The difference in responses by age may point out that older young adults often have less access to a case manager since services often end at 18 or 21 years of age.

Looking at the total number of Young Adults who responded to the survey, only nine (9) Young Adults didn’t select either “No one” or “Case Manager/Staff as a response for any of the eleven possible areas of need.

Housing, Health/ Healthcare, Food and School ranked as the highest areas for which Young Adults re-sponded either “No one” or “Case Man-ager/Staff.” 


Coalition Supporting Young Adults 

Bringing the community together to focus on Young Adults 16-24 in crisis without support. 

This community initiative is staffed by Natalie Harris, Senlin Ward, and Merritt Gill of the Coalition for the Homeless. Thanks go to the Planning Team: Shannon Davis, Shannon Frey, Larry Michalczyk, Harvetta Ray, Natalie Reteneller, Curtis Stauffer, Barry Steiger, Beth Steinbock, and Elizabeth Stith. Facilitator: Julia Inman. This report is printed by the Coalition for the Homeless with support from WellCare. 

Special thanks to Liberty High School, YMCA Safe Place Services, YouthBuild, Wayside Christian Mission, and Family Scholar House for hosting focus sessions with Young Adults. Please note that this report is based on conversations and surveys with Young Adults, and is not intended to be scientifi-cally-based research work.