HPRP Youth Program Profiles: Overview


Solutions Brief | September 21, 2010

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nameHomeless youth can directly benefit from greater investment in homelessness prevention and re-housing.  This series of program profiles highlights those organizations that have emphasized these two techniques with the resources provided by the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP).

Homeless youth are typically defined as unaccompanied youth ages 12 to 24 years who lack familial support and regular night-time residence.  Homeless youth live in shelters, on the streets, in a range of places not meant for human habitation (e.g. cars, abandoned buildings), or in others’ homes for short periods under circumstances that make the situation highly unstable (couch surfing).  Homelessness among youth is commonly caused by family breakdown (severe conflict, abuse, neglect, and abandonment) and system failure (discharges to unstable housing options from foster care, treatment centers, or juvenile justice detention).

The passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 created the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program (HPRP), The new initiative places a priority on housing stabilization as the centerpiece of homelessness assistance while also recognizing that some youth will require more than housing assistance to stabilize.  Some youth have service needs or require employment assistance.  Receipt of such assistance will be necessary for some young people to stay housed and to resolve the underlying circumstances that may have contributed to their housing problems.  Although HPRP cannot fund the provision of treatment services directly, communities can use these new resources to connect youth to the network of services in their communities which can provide ongoing support.