HUD will award $33 million to up to 10 communities, including 4 rural communities, to design and implement a coordinated community response to end youth homelessness.
Earlier this year, extra money was included in the fiscal year (FY) 2016 HUD appropriation “to demonstrate how a comprehensive approach to serving homeless youth… can dramatically reduce youth homelessness.”
The purpose of YHDP is to promote “comprehensive systems of care” to address youth homelessness rather than relying on “individual or unconnected projects.” This means moving from an “isolated impact” to a “collective impact,” which is how so many states and localities have made so much progress on veteran homelessness.
The 10 selected communities will receive funding to develop and implement a coordinated community plan to prevent and end youth homelessness. The work these communities do will be evaluated and the lessons they learn will be shared with other communities to improve homeless youth policy and practice.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness (the Alliance) has posted some questions and answers as advice on how your community can become a YHDP site. Two of the Q and A are included below.
Who can apply?
First, your CoC’s Collaborative Applicant must apply; however, the “community” applying can be a smaller geographic area within the CoC. For example, in a big Balance of State CoC, the community applying could be just one town, a few towns, or a region within the Balance of State. Collaborative Applicants can apply for more than one community within their geographical area, but HUD will only select one community per CoC.
What are the application and community plan requirements?
To be eligible for selection, CoCs must either have or create a Youth Advisory Board (YAB) that is actively involved in the creation and implementation of the community’s coordinated plan to prevent and end youth homelessness.
Additionally, the CoC must demonstrate that the local or state child welfare will be a committed partner in the YHDP.
The Alliance also provides information about what happens next once a community is selected as a YHDP site and what projects a community can develop with YHDP.
YHDP is important because with its focus on community coordination, youth-empowerment, lowering barriers, and the involvement of mainstream systems, particularly the child welfare system, the YHDP represents a huge step forward on youth homelessness in this country. The increased capacity, the innovations developed, and the lessons learned will help in the work to effectively ending youth homelessness by the Opening Doors goal of 2020.
Selected communities will be announced in January 2017, and project funding requests can begin in the spring of 2017.