Other Strategies to Consider
Coalitions and Partnerships
Odds are there are a number of people and organizations already working toward systems change for youth experiencing homelessness, among others, in most states.
Beginner advocates should reach out to organizations working on legislative reforms for children and youth to find out if there are opportunities for partnership or volunteering. Organizations that are focused on reforms to the juvenile justice and foster care systems, as well as organizations which serve people experiencing homelessness of all ages, are good places to start. Those who want to prioritize advancing policies that are focused on supporting students experiencing homelessness should consider outreach to teachers unions and professional associations for educators and school administrators.
If healthcare is the priority, associations representing health care providers, such as physicians, nurses, school nurses, and community health care centers, might be stakeholders worth initiating a conversation with. One of the strengths of partnering with these kinds of associations is that they typically will already have a robust presence in state government affairs, and they are often open to including new ideas in their legislative agendas.
The more people who are aware of a problem in their community, the more likely action will be taken to address it. Consider whether there are opportunities to partner with the press to get the word out about youth homelessness. The release of this State Index is one such opportunity. By sharing your state scorecard with members of the press, you may be able to spark a community conversation about the issue of youth homelessness, leading to greater