In an effort to end youth homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced it is awarding $43 million to 11 local communities.
These communities include five rural areas, and the funds will be dispersed through HUD’s Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program. This program supports a range of housing interventions such as rapid rehousing, permanent supportive housing, transitional housing and host homes.
“Young people who are victims of abuse, family conflict, or aging out of foster care are especially vulnerable to homelessness,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said. “We’re working with our local partners to support innovative new approaches to help young people find stable housing, break the cycle of homelessness and lead them on a path to self-sufficiency.”
To ensure the funds went to communities that would truly meet the needs of youth, HUD invited many youth from the YHDP to participate in reviewing the applications from the communities. HUD explained their input helped ensure the selected communities understand the needs and preferences of the youth they will serve.
HUD also worked with partners such as the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness to develop the program and review applications.
The 11 selected communities will now work with partners including a youth action board and the local or state public child welfare agency. The communities have four months to develop and submit a coordinated community plan to HUD to prevent and end youth homelessness.
The communities will also participate in a program evaluation to inform the federal effort to end youth homelessness going forward, and will serve as leaders in HUD’s work to end homelessness among young people.
The communities can begin requesting funding for specific projects as soon as they are ready, HUD announced.
Here is how much HUD will be awarding each community, and each community’s vision for how to end youth homelessness:
San Diego, California: $7.94 million
The Regional Task Force on the Homeless and its members demonstrated success addressing homelessness through specific initiatives targeting specific homeless subpopulations. For example, San Diego and San Diego County are implementing a Youth Coordinated Entry System to match housing and services to the needs of young people, specifically those experiencing unsheltered homelessness.
Louisville, Kentucky: $3.45 million
This Continuum of Care has a history of coordinating stakeholders to create systemic change in the homeless service system resulting in cutting the chronically homeless population in half. It worked to effectively end veteran homelessness and has been working to make systemic change in addressing homelessness among youth since 2016 through the Homeless Youth Committee of the Louisville CoC.
Boston, Massachusetts: $4.92 million
Boston is seeking to transition from a city where multiple programs individually serve Youth and Young Adults at-risk of and experiencing homelessness, to a city with a coordinated, resourced and data-informed system with common vision and goals.
NW Minnesota (Rural): $1.41 million
Given the significant system changes involved and the specific challenges associated with the rural nature of its region and desire to assure the participation and respect the sovereignty of three tribes, this Continuum of Care employs a single prioritization list and participation of nearly all homeless-dedicated beds.
Nebraska (Rural): $3.28 million
The mission of the Connected Youth Initiative is to bring young people together with service providers, funders and decision-makers to create supportive communities committed to improving outcomes for youth ages 14 to 24 with foster care, juvenile justice or homelessness experiences. It is designed to build strong collaborations and infrastructure necessary for community ownership of youth well-being and the realization of improved youth outcomes.
Northern New Mexico (Rural): $3.37 million
Many local communities and towns in New Mexico have demonstrated a philosophical, political and financial commitment to confronting social inequities, particularly as they affect underserved populations and children. Youth Services and Family Services, along with its partners, are proposing to extend this commitment through tested methodologies and novel approaches to a web of communities in a 14-county region. This rural outreach aims to join a national effort of like-minded individuals, groups and municipalities to end youth homelessness.
Columbus, Ohio: $6.07 million
The Youth Action Board and Youth Committee vision is for all youth to have a safe place to call home. Successful achievement of this vision in this community means all youth will have immediate and easy access to the support they need to prevent homelessness or, if needed, will have immediate and easy access to crisis housing and services to ensure that homeless episodes are rare, brief and one-time.
Nashville, Tennessee: $3.54 million
The creation of the Key Action Plan represents a clear shift in Nashville and Davidson County, where the problem of youth homelessness is more broadly recognized and embraced beyond a small number of Youth and Young Adult providers. With the direct support of more than 20 diverse stakeholders, including a wide range of community-based organizations, systems and Young Adult, Nashville’s Continuum of Care has increasingly tested new strategies and methodologies as it works to expand housing options for at-risk young people and to build momentum toward ending youth homelessness.
Vermont (Rural): $2 million
The Youth Homelessness Prevention Plan Committee engaged youth and youth providers in planning, conducted a youth baseline needs assessment and incorporated youth perspectives into the Continuum of Care’s coordinated entry policies and procedures.
Washington (Rural): $4.63 million
Washington State’s ongoing strategic efforts include: preventing youth from exiting public systems of care, such as child welfare and juvenile justice, into homelessness, developing a crisis response system for families and youth in conflict and closing educational equity gaps for homeless students.
Snohomish, Washington: $2.39 million
The Snohomish County Human Services Department will build on successful innovative practices that have transformed the Everett/Snohomish County Continuum of Care homeless response system, to further transform the homeless youth response under the Youth Homeless Demonstration Program.