This video is a recording of a webinar that originally streamed April 7, 2015, on family intervention models for homeless and at-risk youth. The Alliance highlighted two effective family intervention models that we learned about as part of our youth homelessness Practice Knowledge Project. Presenters discussed the models used by Cocoon House (Everett, WA) and the Ruth Ellis Center (Detroit, MI).
You might have heard of the Homeless Children and Youth Act (S.256), which was introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein to address family and youth homelessness. The Alliance opposes this bill because it will not solve the housing problems of families and youth that it aims to, and makes significant changes to the homeless assistance system that are unnecessary, burdensome, and harmful. This document explains three detrimental impacts this bill would have and suggests alternative approaches to address the problems the bill aims to address.
It is a generally acknowledged truth that kids can be difficult, particularly teenagers. Homeless kids are difficult, too—but I’m not talking about mood swings or rebellion. I’m talking about data. Counting homeless unaccompanied children (below age 18) and youth (ages 18 to 24) is one of the many challenging tasks that homeless advocates face.
Each January, communities across the country conduct Point-in-Time Counts. These counts give a national snapshot of homelessness on a single night, and are a valuable tool in monitoring trends in homelessness. Point-in-Time Counts are challenging, and they became even more so in 2013 when the federal government mandated that communities begin counting homeless unaccompanied children and youth.
Five years ago, a young high school student that Kirsten was working with on a theater project revealed to her that he was homeless and completely on his own. It was one of those moments in life when everything just stopped — how could this be? This kid was bright, talented, funny, and ambitious. He was going to school, attending rehearsals, and seemed so normal. But each night he didn’t know where he was going to go.
He was working hard to make something happen for himself while being alone in an impossible situation, and he was going to great lengths to hide his circumstances. For us, he put a completely unexpected face on homeless youth. And when we discovered that — at that time in 2009 — there were almost fifteen thousand kids registered as homeless in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) system, we knew we had to make this film. This was a crisis and nobody seemed to be talking about it.
Last month, the Urban Institute released a report that examines the experiences of young Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) youth who have engaged in “survival sex” in New York City. Survival sex is a term frequently used to describe the exchange of sexual acts for money or goods that people require to live (e.g. food and shelter)
Of all the findings in this compelling report, “Surviving the Streets of New York,” one in particular should give homeless service providers pause: “Many [youth] … credited the instability and rules associated with emergency housing with driving them back to the street [and sexual exploitation].”