On any given night, roughly 41,000 unaccompanied young people between the ages of 13 and 25 experience homelessness in America. For various reasons and risk factors — ranging from mental health issues and substance abuse to LGBTQ status and family conflict — there are an estimated 4.2 million youth and young adults who are homeless each year in the U.S., including 700,000 unaccompanied minors.
Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is doing something to reduce the problem. HUD just granted $84 million to help provide housing stability to homeless youth in 17 communities nationwide including Philadelphia and Tulsa, along with several rural locations. Read the announcement below to learn more about how these federal funds are being used — and where you can point a young person for help if they are currently unhoused.
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded $83.7 million to build systems to end youth homelessness in 17 local communities, including 6 rural communities. The funding was awarded through HUD’s Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) to support a wide range of housing programs including rapid rehousing, permanent supportive housing, transitional housing, and host homes
“Placing young people experiencing homelessness into permanent housing can change the trajectory of their lives,” said Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “With this funding, HUD is targeting federal resources to meet local needs and support community-driven efforts to end youth homelessness and improve outcomes through stable housing and services.”
The Department continues to work closely with youth to develop and improve YHDP, relying upon recommendations provided directly from young people who have experienced homelessness. Additionally, HUD partnered with youth with lived experience to assess the applications that were submitted for funding consideration.
Their assessment helped HUD ensure that applicants understood the needs and preferences of the young people they will serve. The Department also worked closely with its federal partners to help develop the program and review applications, including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education, and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.
YHDP recipients will use their funding to address youth homelessness that is specifically tailored to their needs, including funding for housing units, wrap-around services, and housing support. YHDP will also support youth-focused performance measurement and coordinated entry systems. Over the next several months, selected communities will work with their youth advisory boards, child welfare agencies, and other community partners to create a comprehensive community plan to end youth homelessness. HUD has been conducting a formal evaluation of first 10 communities who received YHDP grants.
Preliminary evaluation results found that YHDP grantees made significant progress in developing youth-informed programs and systems, resulting in positive perceptions among youth of both the implementation process and available programs. The following communities have been awarded funding:
FY 2021 Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP)
|Balance of State Washington||WA||Yes||$5,290,560|
|Northeastern South Carolina||SC||Yes||$3,159,750|
|Balance of State Colorado||CO||Yes||$2,975,969|
|Orlando, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole Counties||FL||No||$8,377,776|
|County of Santa Barbara||CA||No||$5,167,564|
|Balance of State Missouri||MO||Yes||$6,857,269|
|Balance of State Georgia||GA||Yes||$11,699,223|