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The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, or USICH, released “Preventing and Ending Youth Homelessness: A Coordinated Community Response” in September as a follow-up to Opening Doors, the federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness.
The report shares progress to-date collecting data and building community capacity for change, two strategies featured in the youth framework for action. Although USICH says we can't confidently estimate how many young people are homeless, they add that “we will continue to use the information we do have to better understand the characteristics and experiences of youth under all Federal definitions of homelessness.”
The September publication also highlights the need for communities to form their own coordinated response to meet the physical, developmental, and social needs of homeless youth. USICH and its member agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services, have committed to support this recommendation in a number of ways, including:
Understanding the full range of resources needed to end youth homelessness, identifying resource gaps, and recommending new investments to help set budget and policy priorities
Working with child welfare, criminal justice, and other youth-serving systems to identify and deliver services to young people who are likely to become homeless
Promoting strategies that help communities provide emergency and crisis services that give youth a chance to address the challenges they’re facing
Supporting innovative ideas to increase the quality and availability of services that are age-appropriate, trauma-informed, and culturally competent