Today, Los Angeles, Austin, and Cleveland launch 100-day challenges to accelerate an end to youth homelessness in their communities. The energy we witnessed in Austin this week as all three communities gathered to set their goals and plans was inspiring. We are looking forward to seeing the innovative changes these cities implement. A Way Home America, the campaign coordinating the 100-day challenges, says it best: we are at a critical time. Veteran and chronic homelessness are declining thanks to systemic shifts to Housing First and a federal and philanthropic focus. Many of the same solutions are being scaled to end homelessness among single individuals and families.
There was a lot of excitement earlier this year about the extra money included in the FY 2016 HUD appropriation “to demonstrate how a comprehensive approach to serving homeless youth… can dramatically reduce youth homelessness.” We’ve all been eagerly waiting to find out just what that $33 million (plus $5 million for technical assistance) was going to look like, and now we know! HUD released the Notice of Funding Announcement (NOFA) for the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) yesterday.
The True Colors Fund and National Alliance to End Homelessness are proud to announce a new group, comprised exclusively of young people, to contribute to the growing national dialogue on how to make youth homelessness “rare, brief, and one-time.” The National Youth Forum on Homelessness will ensure that our national conversation is informed by and filtered through the perspectives of young people who have experienced homelessness, and that strategies to end homelessness are generated by youth and young adults themselves.
While cities and LGBTQ communities across the country celebrate Pride Month, it’s a perfect moment to reflect on the many underserved youth that still require support. Here at the Alliance, it is our belief that a coordinated community response is the only way to end homelessness for LGBTQ youth. Most importantly, perhaps, we believe that ending LGBTQ youth homelessness is an achievable goal, and that it is everyone’s responsibility.
The Practice Knowledge Project is a series that explores the approaches most likely to success in reducing the number of homeless youth per the insights of experienced practitioners in the field.