Homeless youth lack parental, foster, or institutional care and face myriad difficulties. Public and private programs provide resources and support for homeless youth, while they are homeless and as they attempt to overcome homelessness. CFRP works with public and private policymakers to assess the effectiveness of efforts to best meet the needs of youth experiencing homelessness.
Youth, up to 24 years of age, account for nearly 8 percent of the national population who experience homelessness. Homeless youth face unique challenges to overcoming homelessness, such as difficulty signing a housing lease, vulnerability of being unaccompanied in adult shelters, and a lack of belongingness and attachment to a stable, developmentally supportive system. Youth Count Texas! (YCT!) is a statewide count of youth experiencing homelessness that aims to collect information on youth’s needs and the availability of services that are currently meeting those needs. In 2016, CFRP collaborated with the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs and the Texas Network of Youth Services to collect and compile the YCT! data. The information from this assessment is informing recommendations for community services and policy changes to improve the resources available to youth experiencing homelessness.