From the Family Room Blog: An Open Door and a Helping Hand for Homeless Young People

Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Last week, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, wrote a blog post “turning up our focus” on homeless youth. The post highlighted two resources commissioned by the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) to raise awareness of youth homelessness and to strengthen the network of available supports.

  • Television public service announcements (PSAs): FYSB partnered with the National Runaway Safeline (NRS) to create a series of videos featuring formerly homeless young people who got the help they needed. The 30- and 60-second PSAs will be distributed to television networks and stations across the country to help build awareness of 1-800-RUNAWAY, a 24/7 hotline available to young people and adults.
  • A report sharing the experiences and needs of homeless street youth: Completed by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln at FYSB’s request, the Street Outreach Program Data Collection Study features interview and focus group results from 873 homeless young people in 11 cities. More than half of participants became homeless for the first time because they were asked to leave home by a parent or caregiver. More than half said they tried to stay at a shelter but it was full. The report includes a section on implications for policy, practice, and research to connect researchers’ findings to tangible improvements needed in available services.                                                                        

Read the full blog post to learn more about youth homelessness and how federal agencies and leaders are working together to make it a thing of the past.

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