Arizona State University, Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research
This study explores the life experiences of 167 homeless young adults (ages 18 to 25) from around Arizona including their experiences of sex trafficking and labor exploitation.
The year 2020 has presented unique challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic created additional critical barriers to providing services to the most vulnerable clients. At the writing of this report, 39, 944, 882 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed world- wide, with 8, 019, 237 confirmed cases in the United States alone (World Health Organization, 2020).
The novel COVID-19 virus has already been responsible for 217, 659 American deaths. It is still too soon to know the ultimate impact that COVID-19 has had on the homeless population. However, it is known that homeless populations are uniquely vulnerable to contracting the novel COVID-19 virus and to experience the more extreme symptoms and conditions of the virus, due to the fact that many homeless persons have pre-existing health complications (National Alliance to End Homelessness, 2020).
The study was conducted in partnership with four agencies from Phoenix and Tucson
that provide direct services to homeless persons:
- Native American Connections
- one.n.ten of Phoenix, and
- Our Family Services of Tucson.
The findings from the YES study have consistently provided insight into the challenges and needs of Arizona’s homeless young adults to better target needed services as well as the first of its kind knowledge of the scope of the sex and labor exploitation of this population in Arizona.
This study targeted homeless young adults in multiple settings, including transitional housing, drop-in centers, and on the streets of Tucson and Phoenix.