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Resources for Homeless Youth

This page is a one-stop spot for youth, and those who help youth, to find housing. This page lists all HUD homeless programs and initiatives that can be used by youth and youth serving providers to help prevent and end youth homelessness, as well as resources, publications, and relevant links to other agencies and organizations.

Additionally, this page provides an explanation of how HUD programs currently serve homeless youth and how HUD works together with other agencies to combat this problem.

SNAPS and Youth: An Overview

Through the office of Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS), HUD funds projects that provide housing and an array of services designed to prevent and end homelessness in America. While HUD does not fund youth specific programs through SNAPS, homeless youth are an important subpopulation served competitive and formula grants and initiatives. To learn more about SNAPS programs and how and why they serve homeless youth, choose from the list of topics below.

Projects, Efforts, and Achievements

HUD has been busy over the past two years planning, collaborating, and implementing new tools and methods for preventing and ending youth homelessness. Together with other federal agencies, state and local governments, and private organizations we have developed demonstration housing projects, coordinated a youth focused point in time initiative, developed joint guidance for cross-sector service providers, and incorporated new youth sensitive reporting requirements. Click on the link below for a more complete list of our projects, efforts, and achievements. 

View Projects, Efforts, and Achievements

LGBTQ Youth Homelessness Prevention Initiative Community Plans

To help address the overrepresentation of LGBTQ youth among youth experiencing homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is leading the first-of-its-kind Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Youth Homelessness Prevention Initiative (Initiative) to identify successful strategies to ensure that no young person is left without a home because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. The Initiative began with two pilot communities that developed local, community-wide prevention plans, which they started implementing in Fall 2014. These plans include strategies to prevent LGBTQ youth from becoming homeless and intervene as early as possible if they do become homeless. The Initiative goals are to (1) Facilitate better local collaboration between stakeholders working with youth and families including local child welfare, education, and law enforcement agencies; runaway and homeless youth providers; LGBTQ organizations; and other local stakeholder; and (2) Help federal agencies and local communities learn more about implementing community-wide strategies for preventing homelessness for LGBTQ youth at risk of becoming homeless, and intervening early when it occurs.

The two communities participating in this Initiative are Harris County (Houston), Texas and Hamilton County (Cincinnati), Ohio.  Houston is implementing NEST, led by the Montrose Center and coordinated with the Coalition for the Homeless Houston/Harris County, in collaboration with more than 60 Houston/ Harris County youth agencies and service providers. Cincinnati is implementing Safe and Supported, led by Lighthouse Youth Services and Strategies to End Homelessness. The Safe and Supported vision is every LGBTQ young person has stable housing, health care, education, employment, and emotional connections that ensure they thrive.

View the Initiative Overview

View each community's plans:

Harris County – NEST

Hamilton County – Safe and Supported

Connect with the lead agencies to find out more:

Montrose Center

Lighthouse Youth Services

Youth Count!

Youth Count! is an initiative to help develop strategies so that communities can better count and understand their homeless youth population. HUD is working in collaboration with Health and Human Services, the Department of Education, and the US Interagency Council on Homelessness in 9 sites to learn from their process how to better use their existing HUD Point-in-Time Count to better target and identify this population. Together with federal and local partners, HUD has developed resources that can be downloaded and accessed by clicking on “View Youth Count! Resources” below. Additionally, the National Alliance to End Homelessness has useful webinars about youth-inclusive point-in-time counts, which can be found by clicking on "View NAEH PIT Resources." This initiative is designed as an ongoing learning process, and so we hope to post new resources, tools and best practices, as our research continues and as more and more partners experiment with exciting innovations.

View Youth Count Resources

View NAEH Youth PIT Resources

Rapid Rehousing Models for Homeless Youth

Rapid re-housing (RRH) for youth (defined as less than 25 years of age) is an evolving model that can be implemented using the PH-RRH component type under HUD’s Continuum of Care (CoC) Program. HUD has profiled RRH programs that demonstrate successful approaches for assisting transition age youth to obtain and retain permanent housing. These programs use a variety of funding sources (e.g. HUD, HHS, private and foundation funding, etc.); however, each has developed replicable, CoC-eligible, promising practices for:

  1. Rapidly moving youth into permanent housing;
  2. Offering short- to medium-term financial assistance; and
  3. Providing developmentally appropriate case management and services.

This information, contributed by representatives from each profiled program, is not intended to represent a complete service description, but rather to highlight what is working for some programs and further an important dialogue on ending youth homelessness.

View Rapid Rehousing Models for Homeless Youth

Important Documents

HUD has produced several documents that may be useful for current youth homeless service providers and those interested in serving youth. Choose from the documents below to get started.

Housing and Education Collaborations to Serve Homeless Children, Youth, and Families

This brief is designed for staff of homeless assistance programs and members of Continuums of Care (CoCs) funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), as well as for State Coordinators for Education of Homeless Children and Youth and local school district homeless liaisons who operate under the guidance of the U.S. Department of Education (ED).

Category 3 of Homeless Definition Guidance

This Notice provides guidance to Continuums of Care (CoC) and applicants to the FY2012 CoC Program for Transitional Housing (TH) or Supportive Services Only (SSO) projects, regarding the limitations imposed by the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act.

HUD's Homeless Definition as it Relates to Children and Youth

To assist providers and stakeholders that serve homeless youth and have questions about eligibility, this document provides an overview of HUD’s definition of homelessness, how it affects eligibility for emergency shelter and other resources, and the documentation that HUD requires. 

Partner Links

HUD partners with a number of different agencies and organizations in an effort to prevent and end youth homelessness. Many of those partners have resources available that may help you or your organization. 

Agency Links

Intergovernmental Links

Technical Assistance (TA) Provider Links

Private/Nonprofit Links