Homeless youth secured increased program funding for in the most recent, and most competitive yet, Continuum of Care (CoC) competition.
Across all housing models, approximately twice as many unaccompanied youth will be served in U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) -funded projects as last year.
This breaks down to about $15 million in funding for youth rapid re-housing with at least $11 million of that funding for new projects. Overall, HUD estimates that funding for youth homelessness increased by 50% in this award cycle.
“That’s a huge win for young people. And with all this new funding and the momentum that’s building around ending youth homelessness, it’s imperative that we make sure that these resources are used most efficiently and effectively to serve youth and young adults.”
She also notes that Steve Berg pointed out recently on the NAEH blog, this was the most competitive CoC competition to date, and Congress directed HUD to ensure that lower performing projects were not automatically renewed, which led to some projects in Tier II losing funding. But many more new projects were funded, including a LOT of youth rapid re-housing (RRH) projects.
Some of the lessons learned include:
Rapid re-housing for youth requires purposefully embracing a client-driven, Housing First philosophy.
Landlord engagement is crucial to implementing a successful rapid re-housing for youth program.
Rapid re-housing can work for youth, but it will need to be a little different from an adult rapid re-housing model.
Getting the services right is key for youth success in rapid re-housing.
Rapid re-housing for youth requires flexibility—in case management style, in funding, and in outcome measures.
The Alliance has begun a new Rapid Re-Housing for Youth Learning Community in which providers and systems administrators will be able to share challenges and solutions and learn more from experienced providers and other RRH experts about how we can maximize this important resource for young people.