We’re Going to Have a Lot of Youth Homelessness Workshops at our DC Conference

written by Mindy Mitchell
June 4, 2014

Last year, the Department of Housing and Urban Development called for communities to make a more concerted effort to include unaccompanied homeless youth, up to age 24, in the homeless census. In January 2013’s point-in-time count, volunteers counted about 47,000 unaccompanied homeless children and youth. Like we pointed out in yesterday’s blog post, given how hard it is to find homeless youth, that’s almost certainly an undercount.

We estimate that during a year around 550,000 unaccompanied, single youth and young adults up to age 24 experience a homelessness episode of longer than one week, approximately 380,000 of them under the age of 18. That’s why each year our national conference here in DC includes many workshops exploring ways to end youth homelessness. This year is no different. Here’s a look at what you can expect to find in this year’s Youth Track.

(By the way, if you’re planning on attending and haven’t registered yet, you should do so ASAP! We’re rapidly running out of space. So registration will likely close early this year.)

Promoting Housing Stability for Older Foster Youth: In this workshop you’ll hear from researchers, practitioners and providers in the older foster youth field. (The recently-released report by HUD, “Housing for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care,” shows the increased risk of homelessness faced by youth aging out of the foster care system.)

Lessons on Housing and Serving Vulnerable Youth from California’s THP+ Program: This workshop, which is related to the previous one, will provide a more in-depth look at how one state is implementing its Transitional Housing Program-Plus for youth who have exited foster care.

Successful Strategies for Implementing Rapid Re-Housing for Youth: There’s also been a lot of focus on rapid re-housing lately. This workshop focuses on how you can tailor rapid re-housing for youth.

But rapid re-housing isn’t the only housing possibility for youth being featured at this year’s conference. Other workshops will look at additional housing options:

  • Housing and Service Models for Homeless Youth will explore a continuum of housing and service responses, and;
  • Putting the Pieces Back Together: Family Intervention for Youth speakers will explain how to use family intervention models to return youth to their homes safely.

We will also have some important workshops on meeting the needs of special subpopulations of homeless youth, including:

  • Sexual Exploitation: Intersections on Youth Homelessness and Providing Affirming and Welcoming Services to LGBTQ Youth, and;
  • Connecting Youth with Education and Employment Opportunities, which will cover ways to help homeless youth complete an education and find employment.

For those of you who are interested in learning more about coordinated responses to youth homelessness, you can check out:

  • Systemic Responses to Youth Homelessness, which will provide perspectives from communities that have developed systemic responses to youth homelessness;
  • Crisis Response Systems for Youth, which explores ways communities are combining multiple intervention methods to respond quickly to youth experiencing housing crises, and;
  • Improving Youth Outcomes: Preventing and Shortening Homelessness for Youth, which will focus on community strategies for identification and intervention to stop a homeless or runaway episode before it starts.

And while many of our youth workshops will include at least one researcher, for you data junkies out there we have a couple workshops devoted exclusively to youth homelessness research, including one on how to improve your own data collection:

  • Improving Local Data on Youth Homelessness, and;
  • New Research on Homeless and Runaway Youth, which will cover emerging research from the field.

As if all that wasn’t enough, our partners at the National Network for Youth will be leading the pre-conference meetings on Tuesday morning and sharing their wide-ranging knowledge of the needs of homeless and disconnected youth. All of this means that those of us who are dedicated to ending youth homelessness can expect three very full and inspiring conference days.

Finally, don’t forget that sponsorship for the Youth Track is still available. The Youth Track will bring together a wide array of practitioners, advocates, leaders, and policymakers to share research and ideas and learn from one another about what we can do to end youth homelessness. For information on how you can sponsor the track, visit the sponsorship page of the conference website.