A few days after his 20th birthday, David found himself sitting on the sidewalk a block away from Covenant House, New York City’s largest shelter for homeless young people. He had spent the night before in a Flushing park, the latest peril in a journey from Venezuela that took him to the five boroughs earlier this month.
But space is running out in New York City’s patchwork of shelters designed for homeless teens and young adults aged 16 to 24, with specialized counseling, education and job training for the developmentally distinct group. Many young people in need, including newly arrived immigrants, are instead turning to the Department of Homeless Services system, either because the youth shelters have no room or because they never learned about the unique services they can access, according to providers and young people experiencing homelessness.
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