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Feature Fri May 13 2011

Raising Abel: Homeless Youth in Chicago

Raising Abel, by Devin Katayama

On any given night there's an estimated 2,000 homeless youth on Chicagoland streets, according to a University of Illinois at Chicago report in 2005. When many people think of youth, they might not consider its definition extending to age 24. But homeless youth that make up emerging adults are also vulnerable to a lack of services and the attention they need while living on the streets. While help in Chicago offers youth a variety of services including food, bedding, showers and support groups, there's not enough to accommodate the need. And many youth have a difficult time adjusting to the responsibilities of this coming of age.

homeless youth in Chicago
photo by Devin Katayama


Devin Katayama is an independent audio producer from Northern California who now lives in Chicago. This audio piece won him the 2011 Studs Terkel Scholarship Award. His previous piece for Gapers Block was an interview with refugees from Sierra Leone living in West Ridge. More of his work can be found at

This feature is supported in part by a Community News Matters grant from The Chicago Community Trust and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. More information here.


brandon Pegram / November 4, 2012 10:10 PM

this is me. this was around 10/2010 i believe around state and adams.

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