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New Report Highlights Best Practices for Counting Youth Experiencing Homelessness

8 August 2018
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago

On August 1, 2018, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago released Missed Opportunities: Counting Youth Experiencing Homelessness in America, the fourth series of the Research-to-Impact briefs which aim to better understand youth homelessness in the United States and develop strategies to meet youths’ needs. This brief focuses on sharing the lessons learned from youth counts that were conducted across 22 communities.

According to the report, the process of identifying youth who are experiencing homelessness can help a community track its efforts towards preventing and ending youth homelessness; engage youth service providers and other stakeholders to participate in the local work to connect youth to services; and empower youth with lived experience with homelessness to be a partner in the youth count planning effort. 

The report provides recommendations on how communities can enhance their youth count efforts. These include:

  • Collaborating with a broad range of services providers and stakeholders that work with youth and young adults in the youth count planning, such as the school’s McKinney-Vento Liaison, health care centers, and domestic violence providers.
  • Engaging youth with lived experience to participate in all aspects of the planning and execution of the youth count.
  • Creating a map of locations where young adults experiencing homelessness might congregate, such as libraries, coffee shops, and free Wi-Fi space.
  • Deciding on the timing and duration of the youth, which can mean administering the youth count in conjunction with the annual Point-in-Time Count.

In Connecticut, we currently conduct the youth count in conjunction we with the Point-in-Time count. The Youth Action Hub, a group of youth and young adult researchers with lived experienced with homelessness, is involved in all phases of the youth count from the planning, creation of the survey, identification of hotspots where youth are likely to be found, and the administration of the survey.

Click here to read the report. 

Click here to read CT’s 2018 Youth Count.