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What programs help youth struggling with homelessness?

Evaluating a systems approach to address youth homelessness

Over the course of a year, between 1.3 and 1.7 million youth experience at least 1 night of homelessness; 500,000+ youth may be homeless for a week or longer. In addition to youth living on the streets and in shelters, many more youth are at risk of homelessness. The youth homeless population includes an overrepresentation of youth of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth; and youth involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is funding the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program in diverse communities across the country to build coordinated systems to prevent and end youth homelessness. 

Westat is conducting a 4-year evaluation of the first 10 communities funded, examining the implementation and outcomes of this effort.

Westat is annually interviewing multiple key informants, conducting focus groups with youth and young adults, reviewing documents, and examining administrative data.

This effort will help to understand

  • How the communities develop and implement coordinated systems
  • How these systems affect homelessness youth

The work will guide systems across the country in how best to meet the needs of youth and young adults struggling with homelessness or at risk of homelessness.

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