Counting Homeless Youth

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National Alliance to End Homelessness

Toolkits | October 20, 2010

Files: Counting Homeless Youth (PDF | 176 KB | 5 pages)

The National Alliance to End Homelessness and the National Network for Youth, along with communities across the country, is strongly committed to improving knowledge on the size and nature of youth homelessness – knowledge that is necessary to solve the problem.

A critical first step is to ensure that homeless youth are included in all homeless counts. Accordingly, the Alliance and the National Network encourage communities to fully include homeless youth in local Point in Time (PIT) counts that will be conducted in January 2011. Too often, PIT counts fail to account for unaccompanied youth age 24 or under who are homeless. As a result, the extent of homelessness within communities is inaccurately portrayed and local plans to end homelessness neglect the needs of unaccompanied youth.

Local communities can act now to ensure that unaccompanied youth age 24 and under are included in the 2011 PIT count by using the recommended steps outlined in this brief.

Recommended steps

Step 1: Ensure that the community’s plan to conduct a PIT count incorporates strategies to identify and survey youth age 24 and under who are experiencing homelessness.

Step 2: Map out locations and sources of data collection.

Step 3: Facilitate collection of data.

Step 4: Promote the quality of data gathered.

Step 5: Analyze data on youth homelessness.

Step 6: Use PIT findings to educate policymakers and the public about youth homelessness in your community.