The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) released an outline of its newly proposed framework for ending youth homelessness at its June 12 meeting. The full framework, which incorporates stakeholder input, is not yet publicly available.
The framework expands the details provided in the nearly two-year old Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and Homelessness (Opening Doors) around the goal of ending youth homelessness by 2020 (see Memo, 6/25/10). According to a summary of the framework available on the USICH website, there are four areas of work required to better meet the goal:
- A confident estimate of youth homelessness. The plan outlines specific steps that should be taken to attain better data on the extent and typology of youth homelessness. Steps include: the coordination of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Information Systems and the Homeless Management Information System, the adoption of local youth Point-in-Time (PIT) counts, a national PIT count, and periodic estimates of the extent of the problem based on national data.
- A research-informed intervention model.
- Increased evidence of effective intervention. The plan proposes to meet this objective by increasing program evaluation and identifying and implementing evidence-based practices.
- A gap analysis of program funding and capacity needs.
Feedback and insights were provided by three leaders in the field: Dana Scott of the Colorado Department of Education, Bob Mecum of Lighthouse Youth Services, and Nan Roman of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. All three emphasized the different ways in which youth can experience homelessness, and that different types of interventions may be needed, depending on risk factors, support networks, and other variables.
“Clearly, a large number (1.9 million) of young people become homeless every year, but most (1.3 million) return home to their families… as they [youth] are going to return ‘home,’ the focus of assistance should be family reunification through family intervention services and flexible resources to address problems such as the family’s loss of housing. For the smaller number of youth (80,000) who have more challenges to returning home, the homelessness system should provide longer term housing and support,” said Ms. Roman in a written response to the proposed framework.
The framework was approved by the Council at the meeting and now awaits additional internal clearance processes.
Click here for the Council Meeting and framework summary.
Click here for the expert briefs.