WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is awarding $33 million to build systems intended to end youth homelessness in ten local communities, including four rural areas. HUD’s Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) will support a wide range of housing programs including rapid re-housing, permanent supportive housing, transitional housing, and host homes.
“A stable home is the foundation for so many other opportunities in a young person’s life,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “As a former mayor, I know that some of the most innovative ideas come from the close working relationships that occur at the local level. These local programs are proof of that.”
“Youth homelessness is one of our nation’s most difficult challenges and its size is staggering, with more than 1.3 million young people experiencing homelessness each year,” said Senator Susan Collins of Maine. “As the Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, I have worked to create and secure funding for important programs like the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program. By supporting the development of comprehensive plans to prevent and end youth homelessness in communities across the country, this program helps us take a significant step forward in our efforts to reduce homelessness among vulnerable youth.”
Senator Patty Murray of Washington said, “Youth homelessness is a dire issue confronting our nation, particularly in areas of astronomical rent increases like King County. The Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program, championed by my colleagues Senator Collins and Senator Reed, is an excellent step to increase federal resources to help communities across the country tackle this problem. I am grateful to HUD and to Secretary Castro for his leadership and hard work in making sure these vital resources reach our communities as soon as possible.”
The Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program was developed with youth in mind, relying upon the recommendations provided directly from young people who had experienced homelessness. To ensure that the program meets the needs of young people, HUD incorporated many of the same young people who provided recommendations on the program’s design in the application review process. Their assessment helped HUD ensure that applicants actually understood the needs and preferences of the young people they will serve. HUD also worked closely with our Federal partners to help develop the program and review applications, including the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Education, and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.
The ten communities selected will collaborate with a broad array of partners including a youth advisory board and the local or state public child welfare agency. These communities will each develop a coordinated community plan to prevent and end youth homelessness to submit to HUD within six months. They will also participate in a program evaluation to inform the federal effort to prevent and end youth homelessness going forward, and will serve as leaders in the nation on the work of ending homelessness among young people.
The selected communities will use funding for rapid re-housing, permanent supportive housing, and transitional housing, and to fund innovative programs, such as host homes. YHDP will also support youth-focused performance measurement and coordinated entry systems. Selected communities can begin requesting funding for specific projects as soon as they are ready. Over the next several months, selected communities work with their youth advisory boards, child welfare agencies, and other community partners to create a comprehensive community plan to end youth homelessness.
HUD is awarding grants to the following communities where local applicants expressed their own vision for ending youth homelessness:
Anchorage, Alaska (Rural): $1.5 million
“The Anchorage community is willing to question existing models and test new methodologies. In preparation for this application, community leaders and stakeholders came together to discuss the opportunity and to solidify their commitment to working together to prevent and end youth homelessness… Anchorage will come together to prevent and end youth homelessness!”
San Francisco, California: $2.9 Million
“San Francisco has strong and diverse community partners collaborating to respond to youth homelessness in our city. We are committing very significant local and private resources to this issue… would use YHDP resources in an innovative and effective manner, and would be a strong model for other Continuums of Care that have high LBGTQ populations…or that have high housing costs.”
Watsonville, Santa Cruz City and County, California: $2.2 Million
“Santa Cruz County will adopt an integrated approach to Youth and Young Adult homelessness that positively shifts services, policies, individuals, and the community from a system that is culturally disconnected, fragmented and incomplete to one that is culturally fitting and compassionate, unified, and comprehensive.”
Connecticut: $6.6 Million
“Connecticut will develop a community plan that…will focus on: improving prevention and identification of youth experiencing homelessness; strengthening the coordinated entry and crisis response system to effectively serve youth; and identifying appropriate and cost effective housing and service interventions that provide long-term positive impacts.”
Kentucky (Rural): $1.9 Million
“We have the experience and capacity to move organizations and individuals, particularly youth serving organizations, to a different way of doing business. More importantly, our Promise Zone residents, community agencies, schools and governmental agencies are committed to doing what is needed to prevent and end youth homelessness.”
Grand Traverse, Antrim, Leelanau Counties, Michigan (Rural): $1.3 Million
“Collaboration with other systems that provide youth services is increasing and with the support of engaged community members, and local philanthropy, the community has already committed to exploring a more extensive way to meet the needs of homeless youth.”
Cincinnati/Hamilton County, Ohio: $3.8 Million
“By 2020, any young person alone and on the streets of Cincinnati in need of shelter will have it. Likewise, by 2020, any young person in shelter will be able to leave that shelter with a solid plan for self-sufficiency and a safe and secure place to call home.”
Ohio (Rural): $2.2 Million
“Our providers utilize innovative methodologies including trauma-informed care and positive youth development to best serve youth experiencing homelessness. Additionally, they incorporate youth voice into programs and projects in on-going ways, and seek input from at-risk providers and community stakeholders knowledgeable of youth experiences on referrals most appropriate for youth experiencing homelessness as well as insight about the broad array of youth focused services.”
Austin/Travis County, Texas: $5.2 Million
“The 100-day Challenge has brought together service providers, city, county, and state agencies, law enforcement, and youth with lived experience, creating tremendous momentum, commitment, and willingness to adopt new projects and methodologies to end youth homelessness. Collaborating agencies have been forced to ask each other hard questions, re-assess and streamline housing operations, share resources, and address systematic challenges.”
Seattle/King County, Washington: $5.4 Million
“Through coming together to identify gaps, investing in innovative programs and strategies, and implementing system improvements…for youth and young adults (YYA), we have a strong foundation in place to make YYA homelessness rare, brief, and one-time. Being selected as one of the YHDP communities will accelerate our community’s progress in preventing and ending YYA homelessness.”