Across the country, local, state and national initiatives are working to end youth homelessness, and many recognize the essential role of law enforcement and juvenile justice agencies in these efforts.
City leaders and juvenile justice agencies should join conversations with their local Continuum of Care collaborative agencies now in advance of upcoming federal grant opportunities through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
HUD’s Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) will support efforts to end youth homelessness through dedicated funding and targeted technical assistance. HUD will select 10 communities, 4 of which will be rural, for awards between $1 million and $15 million. The application deadline for YHDP grants is Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016.
The primary goals of the YHDP are:
- To support communities that are intentional in the planning and implementation of coordinated efforts to end homelessness for youth and include all the critical sectors, particularly the youth-serving systems like child welfare, juvenile justice and schools.
- To expand communities’ array of low-barrier housing and service options for youth experiencing homelessness, and to encourage innovation to make those models work better for youth.
- To understand the similarities and differences in how successful systems to reduce youth homelessness look in urban, suburban and rural settings.
Juvenile justice and city leaders at the table
HUD’s Notice of Funding Announcement emphasizes collaboration and encourages communities to bring together all the key stakeholders before submitting an application for YHDP. Continuum of Care (“CoC”) collaborative agencies interested in applying for YHDP should be sure to include cities’ elected leaders and juvenile justice agencies in application conversations before the Nov. 30 deadline.
City leaders and juvenile justice agencies can also reach out directly to the local CoC agency to start a conversation about YHDP grants. Even if a CoC collaborative does not apply for or doesn’t receive a YHDP grant, these conversations can strengthen local collaboration to end youth homelessness.
To learn more about ending youth homelessness, please visit:
Collaborating for Change (an initiative of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice, the National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education, and Families and National Network for Youth)
A Way Home America a national initiative to end youth homelessness
About the Authors:
Laura E. Furr is the program manager for justice reform and youth engagement in NLC’s Institute for Youth, Education, and Families. Follow Laura on Twitter at @laura_furr and she can be reached at email@example.com.