As the Montgomery County teen rolled up the sleeves of his loose, black-and-red plaid shirt, he revealed little red dots scattered across his forearms – bug bites from sleeping outside.
A year ago, when the young man – Robert – turned 18 and became an adult, he could no longer live in foster care and suddenly became homeless. Now he lives in an empty office building in Conroe – without a job, car or steady source of food. One of the worst parts, he says, is the weather.
“Oh my God, the heat,” said Robert, whose last name is being withheld to protect his identity in high school, in which he is currently enrolled.
Montgomery County is finding an increasing number of young people like Robert who are either homeless or at risk of being without shelter as they age out of foster care. While some say the actual number of homeless teens is growing, others say the uptick can be attributed to the county finally getting better at finding and communicating with young people and children who are homeless.