Call for Youth Point in Time Count Information

written by Sam Batko
February 14, 2013

Last month, every continuum of care in the country conducted a point in time count enumerating the homeless population in shelters, transitional housing, and living in places not meant for human habitation such as the streets, cars, or abandoned buildings. These counts help local communities and the nation as a whole measure progress in ending homelessness year to year.

For the first time, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) required communities to report out the numbers of persons in each household type under modified age categories, which included under 18, ages 18 to 24, and over age 24. This should provide a much clearer picture of the number of unaccompanied homeless youth and minors and young parents that live in emergency shelters and transitional housing at any point in time.

Additionally, in order to work towards more reliable counts of the number of homeless youth living on the streets or in places not meant for human habitation, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness launched Youth Count! last fall. The goal of this initiative was to identify promising strategies for counting unaccompanied homeless youth by piloting strategic youth counts in nine locations across the country. A variety of communities and even one state were included in the initiative, including Boston, New York City, Los Angeles, Houston, and Washington State.

In an effort to assess the effectiveness of the efforts to count youth and to continue to build data on the number and characteristics of youth, the Alliance’s Homelessness Research Institute is collecting data from communities that did make an effort to locate and count homeless youth on the streets. If your community completed a targeted youth count this past January, please send any data you have to count@naeh.org.