- Colette Auerswald, MD, MS, FSAHM
- Sherilyn Adams, MS
- Marguerita Lightfoot, PhD
Research Project Description
Among youth experiencing homelessness the potential for violence and its negative outcomes is exacerbated by multiple, modifiable community-level factors. While effective youth violence prevention programs have been identified, most inadequately address the needs of youth experiencing homelessness, particularly those of 18 to 24 years of age. Our multi-disciplinary team will employ a mixed methods design to identify and investigate the community factors that contribute to violence for youth experiencing homelessness in San Francisco, describe how criminalization and homelessness impact violence and investigate how identified community factors can be leveraged or modified to protect youth from violence and promote well-being. At the national level, our work is timely because it addresses an emerging awareness of the links between youth homelessness, violence and criminal justice involvement. Locally, key stakeholders and youth leaders have prioritized violence as a key area for intervention for youth experiencing homelessness. We have a unique window of opportunity for synergy to implement the findings of our project to influence the approach to violence and youth homelessness not only in San Francisco, but also nationally.
Colette Auerswald, MD, MS, FSAHM
Colette Auerswald is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health and Co-Director of the Innovations for Youth (i4Y) center. She is a pediatrician specialized in adolescent medicine. She combines ethnographic and social epidemiologic methods to describe the social determinants of the health of marginalized youth to inform structural interventions to improve their well-being.
Sherilyn Adams, MS
Sherilyn Adams is the Executive Director of Larkin Street Youth Services, San Francisco’s largest non-profit agency dedicated exclusively to the needs of homeless youth. For nearly 30 years, Adams has dedicated her career to the nonprofit sector, focusing on issues of child abuse and neglect, family violence, mental health, substance abuse, and homelessness. She is an influential stakeholder, with close connections to other thought leaders and policymakers.
Marguerita Lightfoot, PhD
Marguerita Lightfoot is a Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Chief for the Division of Prevention Science, and Director of the Center for Prevention Studies and UCSF Prevention Research Center. She focuses her research on studying risk and resilience of marginalized youth and developing effective interventions (particularly technology) to promote healthy youth development and behaviors.
Issue Brief: Larkin St.
Young, unsheltered and in harm's way: Promoting health and development through disentangling youth violence, homelessness, and criminal justice