What populations of youth experiencing homelessness and who have runaway should be part of the CE process?

Date Published: August 2016

Print ShareThis


Under current regulations, coordinated entry (CE), at a minimum, must serve youth defined as homeless and at-risk of homelessness by HUD. However, HUD and HHS strongly encourage communities to also include youth considered homeless or runaway by other federal definitions*. The CE process will encounter youth when they are in various stages of experiencing a housing-related crisis and should be designed to accommodate a broad range of youth who are experiencing homelessness, have runaway, and who are at-risk of homelessness. Through the CE process, Continuums of Care (CoCs) can coordinate non HUD-funded housing and supportive services, as well as HUD-funded Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) and non-homelessness dedicated HUD programs that may be able to serve those youths who are considered “homeless,” “runaway,” or “at-risk” by other federal definitions. It is important for CoCs to work towards building a broad range of resources that include homelessness prevention, family interventions, an array of housing interventions that include supportive services, and connections to mainstream resources in order to best serve a broad range of youth who are experiencing homelessness, have runaway, and are at-risk of homelessness. The inclusion of a broad range of stakeholders in the CoC, and the implementation and development of the CE process, will help ensure this goal is met.

When working with the broad range of youth, communities may pay particular attention to the unique needs of vulnerable subpopulations including youth who are either overrepresented in the unaccompanied homeless youth population or are particularly vulnerable to the effects of homelessness, such as:

  • Youth under the age of 18
  • Pregnant and parenting youth
  • Youth involved or formerly involved in the child welfare system
  • Youth involved or formerly involved in the juvenile justice system
  • Youth fleeing or attempting to flee from trafficking or other unsafe living environments
  • Youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ)
  • Native American youth
  • Youth with special needs or disabilities, including severe behavioral and mental health needs
  • Youth who are sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing or economic hardship
  • Youth who have run away from home without parental consent
  • Youth of color

Coordination with non-youth partners is critical when considering subpopulation approaches as their resource and support needs overlap with non-youth specific providers. For example, pregnant and parenting youth should have access to and may be better served by family-specific resources and youth fleeing unsafe situations may be better served by domestic violence or trafficking-specific resources.

*View the Definition of Runaway and Homeless Youth as defined by the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act. View the Definition of Homeless Children and Youths as defined by Subtitle VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.

Tags: CoC Program Requirements - Coordinated Entry ESG Program Requirements - Coordinated Entry

Links in This FAQ