Building a Future of Empowerment and Care

We envision a future where all young people thrive in the safety of caring communities, with the power to shape their own lives. Join us in shifting power, building systems of care, undermining systems of oppression, and working to prevent and end youth homelessness.

Our Purpose

Our purpose is to create a world where all young people have safety, autonomy, and communities of care.

Our Mission

Our mission is to prevent and end youth homelessness by centering unhoused young people, building collective power, and transforming the landscape of the possible.

Mapping a Better Tomorrow

The State Index on Youth Homelessness is a living project created in partnership by True Colors United (TCU) and the National Homelessness Law Center (NHLC)’s Youth Team. The State Index tracks metrics about youth & young adult homelessness in all fifty states and the District of Columbia, with the goal of expanding to include the US territories. We dedicated 2023 to making the State Index reflect the current state of the movement. Directed by feedback from current & formerly unhoused young people, we have overhauled the metrics we track to focus on policies that:

Remove barriers and provide resources

Expand autonomy and shift power

Undermine systems of oppression

Prevent and end youth homelessness

As of release, we have roughly doubled the number of metrics we track from 61 in 2022 to over 120 – and we’re still going. We hope that our new State Index will be useful to a wide range of stakeholders and for a wide range of purposes, from know-your-rights to radical change. We have also expanded the State Index’s website to host an array of resources for the movement: how young people can access legal help through the Homeless Youth Legal Network, how to authentically engage with unhoused young people, the American Bar Association (ABA)’s Model State Statutes, and real-time tracking of youth homelessness legislation around the country. We will host a series of webinars in 2024 to introduce this new digital home for the movement.

Thank you to everyone who has made this new era of the State Index possible – especially each and every young person who has given us their time, labor, and attention. It is a privilege to work with you.

Learn More

Take a Stand with Us

Every action, no matter how small, contributes to a monumental change. Join us in the fight to end youth homelessness and create a future where every young person can prosper. Together, we are a force for change. Act now to empower the lives of young people across the nation. Here’s how you can make a difference:


Lend your time and skills. We have numerous opportunities for you to engage directly with our mission.


Raise your voice. Help us influence policy and make youth homelessness a priority.


Amplify our cause on social media, in your community, and within your networks. Awareness is a powerful tool.


Stay Informed. Stay Involved.

Our journey is constantly evolving and we want you to be a part of every step forward.

The Systems That Displace Us

My Nana, a Black woman born and bred in Five Points Denver, Colorado, fought to protect her community of people living in the Denver Housing Projects for more than five decades. She was relentless in her drive towards equity and … Continue reading

  • Aleya Jones
  • February 4, 2024

What it Will Take to End Homelessness

Like many people, I grew up believing that owning a home was the ultimate goal – it signaled success and stability and being a part of the “American Dream”. As a young white woman from the suburbs, I absorbed all … Continue reading

  • Katie M Scott
  • January 23, 2024

Welcome to the new State Index

We have compiled research on 100+ metrics across 56 jurisdictions here. We want this research to do at least three things: shape the advocacy landscape by centering the priorities of young people with lived experience, document jurisdictions’ laws and policies … Continue reading

  • Jeremy Penn
  • January 23, 2024