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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.

Obtaining Government ID Without Parental Consent

  • Autonomy
  • Healthcare

The jurisdiction allows minors to obtain a government ID card without parental consent

Model Statute:

Key Metric Score Type of Policy Description
1.0 Reform Jurisdiction explicitly provides for access to an ID card or drivers license without parental consent
0.5 Harm Reduction Jurisdiction explicitly provides for access to a birth certificate without parental consent
0.0 Status Quo No law found

Cite: National Homelessness Law Center and True Colors United. "State Index on Youth Homelessness, Obtaining Government ID Without Parental Consent" Accessed: February 24, 2024.


In many jurisdictions, minors have limited autonomy when it comes to entering into contracts for rental properties, obtaining medical care, and other important decisions that affect their lives. However, there is a growing movement to increase the autonomy of minors in these areas. One important step is to allow minors to enter into rental contracts, which would give them greater control over their living arrangements. Additionally, providing a statutory process for emancipation gives minors who are already supporting themselves the legal right to make their own decisions.

Another area where autonomy is important is minors’ ability to consent to shelter and services, a crucial tool in ensuring that unhoused youth get the help and support they need. 

“The money and resources that are being provided have too many barriers. Lack of documentation or other things necessary to qualify is a huge barrier. Have to be on the verge of homelessness or losing services in order to qualify for the assistance. Should be fixed BEFORE it gets to the point of almost losing housing or utilities.” – Joel Swazo

Model Statute: