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Reaching Home Youth and Young Adult Homelessness Initiatives

Workgroup Description:

The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness amended its plan to include an objective that specifically addresses the needs of youth. Homeless and run-away youth consists of:

  • Unaccompanied youth, who are defined as children up to age 17 who are not residing with their legal guardians and young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 who are not living with family members, and who are experiencing poverty and homelessness. Unaccompanied youth are more at risk than those who are stably housed for experiencing depression, mental health and substance abuse, and chronic homelessness.

Collecting data on the exact number of youth experiencing homelessness is extremely problematic for several reasons: the lack of a consistent definition of youth homelessness, the failure of families to report youth that are not living with them, and the large number of unaccompanied youth who are not connected to services or shelters.

For these reasons, the Youth and Young Adult (YYA) Homelessness workgroup goals are to:

  • Identify all unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness
  • Use shelter diversion strategies whenever possible and provide immediate access to low-barrier shelter to any youth who needs and wants it
  • Use Coordinated Entry processes to link all youth experiencing homelessness to housing and services that are tailored to their needs
  • Act with urgency to swiftly assist youth to move into permanent or non-time-limited housing options with appropriate services to support them 
  • Ensure resources, plans and system capacity are in place to continue to prevent and quickly end future experiences of homelessness among youth 

Progress/Work Underway:

  • Develop a statewide plan to end youth homelessness  
  • Spearhead the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program
  • Engage in a System Dynamic Modeling (SDM) project to better understand critical leverage points for targeting interventions to end youth homelessness 
  • Conduct a statewide Homeless Youth Count. The 2018 Youth Count, led by CT Coalition to End Homelessness, occurred in January 2018 and the findings were released in May 2017. The Youth Count estimated a total of 5,054 youth and young adults who are homeless and unstably housed  in CT. Click here to read the Youth Count report.  
  • Engaged in the 100-Day Challenge to End Youth Homelessness in Connecticut, which led to 397 youth and young adults successfully housed over 100 days.

Click here to view the Opening Doors for Youth 2.0. plan.    

Click here to find the YYA Bylaws. 

Click here for an overview PowerPoint of the youth effort.

Click here to view Connecticut's youth homelessness criteria and benchmarks.

CT Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP):

CT Youth Homelessness Demonstration RFP 2 Materials


Click here to view a list of Youth and Young Adult Homelessness Workgroup members.

For more information about the Youth and Young Adult Homelessness Workgroup, please contact Alicia Woodsby - or 860-244-0066.

Last Updated: June 26, 2018