Working Towards Ending Youth Homelessness
- Approximately 4.2 million youth and young adults ages 13 to 25 experience homelessness in the U.S.
- Abt has developed integrated strategies that enable communities to address the numerous root causes of youth homelessness.
- We’re helping HUD grantees work with youth with lived experience and organizations in related sectors to design holistic solutions.
Each year, an estimated 4.2 million youth and young adults ages 13 to 25 experience homelessness in the United States. The real number may be higher, as it’s hard to contact unhoused people, many youth and young adults aren’t in shelters, and some move between temporary sleeping arrangements with friends. Black, indigenous, and LGBTQIA+ young people disproportionately experience homelessness as compared to their peers. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project (YHDP) is working with grantees to develop and implement a coordinated community approach to address youth homelessness. Because Abt’s technical assistance centers young people with lived experience of homelessness and housing insecurity, HUD contracted Abt to help grantees incorporate youth in their governance structures.
A critical part of this project entails establishing and working with Youth Advisory Boards (YABs) that provide needed insights, perspectives, and solutions throughout the process. Abt’s work with grantees aims to identify ways they can address inequities in how youth experience homelessness and receive assistance. To that end, we’re engaging invested partners from education, workforce, child welfare, and juvenile and adult justice systems, who are mandatory signatories to all YAB funding and priorities. They help ensure programs are addressing the numerous root causes of youth homelessness, rather than simply addressing its symptoms.
With our assistance, YHDP grant recipients’ plans have resulted in a combined $36.4 million in additional funds and annually renewing HUD funds, plus more federal, state, and local money. The funding is earmarked for innovative, youth-specific services and housing projects. The recipients are expected to serve thousands of young people annually.