Maps

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This year, we’ve reformed the Index to focus on unhoused youth and young adults (YYA), aligning it with their experiences and policy needs. Shifting from harm reduction to transformative change, some jurisdictions may see lower scores than before. This is a deliberate strategy, not a setback. Lower scores should motivate, not discourage, jurisdictions. They present an opportunity to adopt policies that effectively tackle and prevent youth homelessness, fostering meaningful progress.

No Young Adults Enter Homelessness from State/Territorial Systems

  • Right to housing

The jurisdiction ensures that young adults (or all people) do not exit state/territory systems into homelessness

No person, youth or otherwise, should exit public systems of care and find themselves without safe and adequate housing. Jurisdictions should ensure that all systems-impacted persons are connected with appropriate housing supports and services, without bureaucratic barriers. This includes children and young adults exiting the foster care system, mental or behavioral health systems, and juvenile or criminal legal systems.

“People are unaware of aging out – steps should be taken with people that are close to transitional age to make sure they are ready. They can get cut off from their friends and thrown into the adult system. It’s already hard enough to connect with service providers, we should make sure that when people are of transitional age they are prepared and educated.”CiCi Williams

NOTE:
In some jurisdictions, the definition of “children” may include young people older than 18.

Key Metric Score Type of Policy Description
1.5 Transformative Edge Jurisdiction law prohibits exits from systems to homelessness for young adults (or all people)
1.0 Reform Jurisdiction law mandates housing supports for young adults exiting systems (beyond or in addition to extended foster care)
0.5 Harm Reduction The jurisdiction offers extended foster care to young adults who voluntarily agree to it
0.0 Status Quo No laws found

Cite: National Homelessness Law Center and True Colors United. "State Index on Youth Homelessness, No Young Adults Enter Homelessness from State/Territorial Systems" https://youthstateindex.com/maps/no-young-adults-enter-homelessness-from-state-territorial-systems/. Accessed: February 24, 2024.

Right to Housing

The Index is centered around the fundamental human right to housing. A right to housing is the guarantee that every youth and young adult can access and maintain safe and habitable housing. The elements of a right to housing are:

  1. Security of tenure;
  2. Availability of services;
  3. Affordability;
  4. Accessibility;
  5. Habitability;
  6. Location;
  7. Cultural adequacy. 

“There should always be somewhere for everybody to go. We all should be able to have the housing we need. It shouldn’t be something that you HOPE to get, it should be a given. Build more shelters, build more housing.”K. Livingston