Our Research

We describe how increased household costs and lease and benefits restrictions can impact the stability of informal hosting arrangements, as well as the strategies hosts and youth mobilized to address them. We place hosts’ instability in the context of intergenerational poverty and structural racism, reframing material challenges as opportunities to strengthen the village of support youth need to make sustained exits from homelessness.

VanMeeter M, Curry SR, Tully BA, Ault S, Nesmith A, White J. (2022) The costs of caring: Navigating material challenges when adults informally host youth facing homelessness. Youth & Society (June 9)

Findings suggest that informal hosting arrangements can include support beyond provision of basic housing needs, that hosts sometimes play a social service role, and that youth and hosts often develop family-like ties. These findings challenge the existing narrative of couch hopping as uniformly negative, and suggest that expanding services for youth facing homelessness to support informal hosting arrangements may be warranted.

Curry SR, VanMeeter M, Tully BA, Ault S, Garst N, Adam K, Nesmith A, White J. (2021) Beyond a bed: Supportive connections forged between youth who are couch hopping and adult hosts. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 38(1), 13-26.