A University of Missouri research team received a $1.6 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate firearm violence among young adults experiencing homelessness, according to a press release from the university.
The research team, led by social work professor Hsun-Ta Hsu, will use the funds to survey young adults aged 18 to 24 in drop-in centers in St. Louis and Los Angeles.
Along with collecting demographic data, the survey questions will ask participants about their recent interactions with firearms and where they tend to gather at night and during the day. Researchers will then map that data on Google Street View to study how young adults encounter firearms.
“We are going to set out to answer the question, ‘how do we decrease firearm exposure among young adults experiencing homelessness?” Hsu said in the press release.
In a previous study with houseless youth in seven cities, Hsu found that firearm violence was more common among youth experiencing homelessness — about 40% of participants in his study reported having encounters with firearms as the victim or perpetrator of gun violence.
“I believe with this type of funding we can look at firearm violence from different levels — from the community level, the social-network level and even the individual level,” Hsu said.