TEXAS NETWORK OF YOUTH SERVICES

Youth Count Texas! is an initiative led by the nonprofit Texas Network of Youth Services (TNOYS) to help Texas better understand and serve homeless youth. Liz traveled statewide to photograph, film, and interview individuals in conjunction with the first ever count of youth who are homeless or experiencing housing instability in Texas. The photo and video deliverables were used alongside data collected from the count to make policy recommendations to the Legislature that support this vulnerable population.

 
 
  Stephanie. Austin, TX   "When you're a mother and homeless, everything is a challenge. Transportation, food, child care. You're uncertain of every decision you make and very aware that what you do today affects your tomorrow."

Stephanie. Austin, TX

"When you're a mother and homeless, everything is a challenge. Transportation, food, child care. You're uncertain of every decision you make and very aware that what you do today affects your tomorrow."

 
 
  Samuel. Houston, Texas

Samuel. Houston, Texas

 
 
  Madeleine. San Antonio, TX   "You feel empty when you're homeless. Just trying to find a place to lay my head, don't want to sleep under a tunnel where you can get robbed or raped. It hurts to be hungry and nobody stops to help."

Madeleine. San Antonio, TX

"You feel empty when you're homeless. Just trying to find a place to lay my head, don't want to sleep under a tunnel where you can get robbed or raped. It hurts to be hungry and nobody stops to help."

 
 
  Renellquiana. Austin, TX   “Being homeless is like being in a forest with no map or food and you have to fend for yourself when you have no idea what to do.”

Renellquiana. Austin, TX

“Being homeless is like being in a forest with no map or food and you have to fend for yourself when you have no idea what to do.”

 
 
  Amanda. Fort Worth, TX   “Being homeless is not a place you want to be. On the streets, people take advantage of you. You’re lonely and scared. You can’t trust anyone.”

Amanda. Fort Worth, TX

“Being homeless is not a place you want to be. On the streets, people take advantage of you. You’re lonely and scared. You can’t trust anyone.”

 
 
  Kionate. Dallas, TX   "Being homeless is something you wouldn't want to be. Devastating. It gives you a deep, empty feeling inside."

Kionate. Dallas, TX

"Being homeless is something you wouldn't want to be. Devastating. It gives you a deep, empty feeling inside."

 
 
  Howard and Alexis. Houston, TX

Howard and Alexis. Houston, TX

 
 
  Lauraana. Austin, TX   “Being homeless doesn’t feel right, it feels like you don’t belong. I would love for there to be more daycare opportunities so I can finish school and be able to give my child a roof over her head.”

Lauraana. Austin, TX

“Being homeless doesn’t feel right, it feels like you don’t belong. I would love for there to be more daycare opportunities so I can finish school and be able to give my child a roof over her head.”

 
 
  Franklin. Austin, TX   "When I was eighteen I was living under a bridge. Youth homelessness shouldn't be taken lightly. It should be a first priority."

Franklin. Austin, TX

"When I was eighteen I was living under a bridge. Youth homelessness shouldn't be taken lightly. It should be a first priority."

 
 
  Jocelyn. Austin, TX   "Bad things happen to people's kids when they're on the streets. It's damaging to see their parents stressed out and not know what their next step is."

Jocelyn. Austin, TX

"Bad things happen to people's kids when they're on the streets. It's damaging to see their parents stressed out and not know what their next step is."

 
 
  Francisco. Austin, TX   “It’s all about where am I going to sleep, eat, put my stuff, use the restroom, plug in my electronic devices, get out of the heat? It’s very lonely, scary, depressing, and stressful. The more funding that goes to preventing homelessness, the less homelessness we’ll have. We don’t want youth to give up. People need motivation to get off the streets and into housing.”

Francisco. Austin, TX

“It’s all about where am I going to sleep, eat, put my stuff, use the restroom, plug in my electronic devices, get out of the heat? It’s very lonely, scary, depressing, and stressful. The more funding that goes to preventing homelessness, the less homelessness we’ll have. We don’t want youth to give up. People need motivation to get off the streets and into housing.”

 
 
  Hailey Padgett. Houston, TX

Hailey Padgett. Houston, TX

 
 
  Derrick. Houston, TX

Derrick. Houston, TX

 
 
  Alex. Austin, TX   "The stress level is high. I stay solo, try to survive. I study in my car, sleep in my car. Some of us don't have direction without parents. We think we have nothing to lose, because no one around us cares about us."

Alex. Austin, TX

"The stress level is high. I stay solo, try to survive. I study in my car, sleep in my car. Some of us don't have direction without parents. We think we have nothing to lose, because no one around us cares about us."

 
 
  Dylan. Victoria, TX

Dylan. Victoria, TX

 
 
  Deiko. Houston, TX   "I became homeless when I graduated college. I didn't have any where to go and didn't have a very good family bond. At first I was just couch surfing, then I eventually had no where to go and had to go live on the streets. I slept in places like the airport, abandoned buildings, in parks, and at random people's houses that I would trade sex to live there. Loneliness was a very big problem for me when I was staying on the streets. You just wish that you had someone to help you out, talk to you, and be there with you on those cold nights. I felt like everyone who saw and looked at me knew I was homeless and hated me." 

Deiko. Houston, TX

"I became homeless when I graduated college. I didn't have any where to go and didn't have a very good family bond. At first I was just couch surfing, then I eventually had no where to go and had to go live on the streets. I slept in places like the airport, abandoned buildings, in parks, and at random people's houses that I would trade sex to live there. Loneliness was a very big problem for me when I was staying on the streets. You just wish that you had someone to help you out, talk to you, and be there with you on those cold nights. I felt like everyone who saw and looked at me knew I was homeless and hated me." 

 
 
  Connor. Victoria, TX

Connor. Victoria, TX

 
 
  Brianna. Dallas, TX

Brianna. Dallas, TX

 
 
  Dalton. Victoria, TX

Dalton. Victoria, TX

 

A PSA to promote a homeless youth survey taking place across the state and reduce the stigma and stereotypes that homeless youth often face.