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HUD’s New Guide Defines Youth Homelessness for HUD Programs

U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development

On October 2015, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released a new guide, entitled Determining Homeless Status of Youth, which highlights living situations that meet HUD’s definition of youth homelessness. The definition is based on the Emergency Solutions Grants and Continuum of Care Programs and are being provided to help avoid youth exclusion from housing and services programs for which they qualify.

The guide outlines four categories to help service providers determine the homeless status of youth and the documentation requirements for each category. The four categories are:

  • Category 1: Literal homelessness for youth living in shelters, the street, and or an institution
  • Category 2: Imminent risk of homelessness for youth living in their home, a hotel, or with a family member and are at risk of eviction within 14 days and have no alternative housing
  • Category 3: Homeless under other federal statutes for youth, such as Runaway and Homeless Youth Act, and does not qualify as homeless under the other three categories
  • Category 4: Youth who are fleeing their homes as a result of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and other life dangerous conditions

Furthermore, eligibility is not determined by the youth’s age, even if they are unaccompanied minor under 18 or transitioning-aged youth 18-24. As long as they meet the qualification of one or more of the highlighted categories, they are eligible for services.

Click here to read the guide. 



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