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A new amendment to Opening Doors, the federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness, includes a definition of what it means to end homelessness and updates to the strategies for preventing and ending homelessness for families, youth, and children in 2020.
An end to homelessness, the amended plan says, "means that every community will have a systematic response in place that ensures homelessness is prevented whenever possible or is otherwise a rare, brief, and non-recurring experience."
Among the amendments related to youth homelessness are additions to the plan's Objective 8, "Advance health and housing stability for unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness and youth aging out of systems such as foster care and juvenile justice." Three strategies were added to reflect the 2012 amendment to Opening Doors:
Obtain more comprehensive information on the scope of youth homelessness.
Build an evidence base of and bring to scale the most effective interventions for the different subsets of youth experiencing homelessness.
Improve access to emergency assistance, housing, and supports for historically under-served groups of youth, including youth in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems; trafficked youth; pregnant and parenting youth; youth with mental health needs; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.