Children and Youth Homeless Definition

HUD Paper Provides Overview

Children and Youth Homeless DefinitionBecause the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regularly receives questions about how homeless youth qualify for its homeless assistance programs, HUD has created a three-page document providing an overview of its definition of homelessness and how that definition affects eligibility for emergency shelter and other resources.

A chart presents summaries of the four HUD categories of homelessness, which include:

  1. literal homelessness,
  2. imminent risk of homelessness,
  3. fleeing domestic violence, and
  4. homelessness defined under non-HUD statutes.

Although only one of the categories mentions youth (homelessness defined under non-HUD statutes), the paper states that youth are eligible and much more likely to qualify for assistance under the other categories. Five hypothetical examples illustrate how youth might qualify under one of the four categories.

The document stresses that third party documentation of homelessness is not required in order for someone to be immediately admitted to an emergency shelter, to receive street outreach services, or to immediately receive shelter or services provided by a domestic violence victim service provider. HUD only expects self-certification.

Click here for “Children and Youth and HUD’s Homeless Definition.”