In the United States, an estimated 1.6 to 2.8 million young people run away from home each year. Once on the streets, they are at risk of being sexually exploited or abused. To provide homeless youth with services that help them leave the streets, the United States Congress established the Education and Prevention Services to Reduce Sexual Abuse of Runaway, Homeless, and Street Youth Program (more commonly known as the Street Outreach Program) through the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. Today, the Street Outreach Program is authorized through the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act of 2003. It is administered by the Family and Youth Services Bureau of the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
In 2013, Somerset Home's Street Smart street outreach program received funding from the state Department of Children and Families. This funding allowed for street outreach to expand into: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Union, Morris, and Middlesex counties. This marks the first time Somerset Home is providing services in those counties (although services were provided to youth from those counties who were living in Somerset County at the time).
Somerset Home's Street Outreach Program serves youth from throughout central New Jersey.