Recap: Blogging Challenge to End Youth Homelessness

A young man blogging.

Earlier this month, we asked readers to use their blogs to raise awareness of youth homelessness and how we can end it by 2020.

Youth advocates answered the call! In the last few weeks, we’ve seen nearly 20 posts on what it will take to keep all young people in safe, stable environments. Here are a few of the things bloggers wrote about:

On adapting programs to meet changing demands:

"We live in a time when most workforce growth has come in fields that require at least some postsecondary education, a high school diploma is simply no longer enough to ensure long-term self-sufficiency. To address this gap, [Larkin Street's] model of care includes a comprehensive approach through our Hire Up program which connects education and career development to help our youth build the skills necessary to compete in today’s workforce."

-Larkin Street Youth Services, sharing how they've coupled education and employment services with stable, youth-appropriate housing to place young people on track to a brighter future.

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"Another way [to address the problem of not enough beds for homeless youth] is prioritizing service rich housing programs for those youth most in need—those most vulnerable and most likely to remain homeless. And helping other youth, those who are less vulnerable, with lighter touches that require less resources."

-The National Alliance to End Homelessness, in the first of a series of recent blog posts on ending youth homelessness.

On meeting the distinct needs of LGBTQ youth:

"We’re at a pivotal moment in the effort to end youth homelessness. It’s been 40 years since the initial passing of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA), the only federal law that funds vital services for homeless youth, and the effort to reauthorize it is running strong."

-Forty to None, explaining the context for its first national summit on strategies to end LGBT youth homelessness.

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"... LGBTQ youth who have endured homelessness routinely struggle when trying to navigate social services. They commonly fall through the cracks due to unsafe programs or non-affirming policies, housing or employment barriers, a lack of a safety net or permanent connections, and a timeline that ignores the structural barriers that keep queer youth from succeeding. In addition, transgender youth routinely confront barriers around legal names, dress codes, inappropriate questions, and sex-segregated programs."

-Seattle-based Pride Foundation, in a joint post with Tumbleweed Runaway Program in Montana, on the need for LGBTQ-specific services.

On educating community decision-makers:

"This year, the [California Homeless Youth] project has taken on a proactive role in awarding grants to assist California communities in having a more youth inclusive Point-in-Time count. Our hope is that with funding and technical assistance, communities will have the ability to obtain a much better picture of the size and scope of young people experiencing homelessness throughout our state."

California Homeless Youth Project, explaining one of its many initiatives to raise awareness of youth homelessness to influence local policy, law and service delivery.

Whatever topic they wrote about, we appreciate everyone who participated in our blogging challenge to raise awareness of this important issue. We hope you’ll continue to write about what it will take to keep young people safely housed and to prepare them for adulthood.

Posts discussed here do not necessarily reflect the views of NCFY, FYSB or the Administration for Children & Families.

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