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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.
State Supplementary Payments for SSI Recipients
The jurisdiction provides a State Supplementary Payment to youth and young adult SSI recipients
The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is a federal program that provides cash assistance for people, including minors, with disabilities. The maximum SSI payment in 2024 for a single person is $943 per month. For many families, SSI is the only source of income, which is a travesty because the monthly benefit is well below the poverty line. The State Supplementary Payment (SSP) is a small state funded supplement to recipients of SSI.
|Type of Policy
|The supplement is more than $100 a month and available if living independently
|The supplement is less than $100 a month and/or only available if institutionalized
|No law found
Cite: National Homelessness Law Center and True Colors United. "State Index on Youth Homelessness, State Supplementary Payments for SSI Recipients" https://youthstateindex.com/maps/state-supplementary-payments-for-ssi-recipients/. Accessed: February 24, 2024.
Until we can finally realize an economic system that isn’t based on exploitation, access to income is a necessary part of survival for young people. Approximately 12% of children ages 14 to 17 and 20% of young adults ages 18 to 24 live in households earning or receiving less than $14,000 per year. With the average rent in United States completely out of reach for anyone below the poverty line, it is not surprising that individuals ages 18 to 25 endure the highest rates of homelessness and housing insecurity than any other age group; 1 in 10 report couch surfing or another form of homelessness at some point each year.
The United States has almost no social safety net for young adults (and a completely inadequate one for families with children or people with disabilities). There is a growing consensus, however, that the solution isn’t to create more bureaucratic programs with complicated eligibility rules but rather to directly transfer cash to the people who would benefit most and trust them to spend it on what they need.