The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded new funding to build systems to end youth homelessness in 16 communities across the country, including four rural communities. The national award totaled $60.3 million, of which the All Neighbors Coalition received $9,392,854. The funding was awarded through HUD’s Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) to support a wide range of housing programs, including rapid rehousing, permanent supportive housing, transitional housing, and host homes.
“Our ongoing work and our community’s vision for ending youth homelessness focuses on centering racial equity, amplifying the voices of youth with lived experience in planning and decision-making, and robust cross-system partnerships. Over the next few years, we’ll be leveraging the ongoing partnerships and the YHDP HUD funding in creating a more coordinated approach to ensuring all unhoused youth are quickly identified and matched to needed resources, that we shore up our outreach, engagement, and crisis response services, and that we focus on increasing housing options that are paired with critical, wrap-around supportive services,” said Joli Angel Robinson, President and CEO of Housing Forward.
Housing Forward will use this funding for a Youth Resource Center, a youth-focused intervention that will work to reunify youth with family, prevent their homelessness, or divert youth from crisis housing. Additionally, the Youth Resource Center will maintain a real-time inventory of crisis bed availability to assist youth in securing safe temporary shelter when needed, while also connecting young adults to the local Homeless Response System’s Coordinated Access System (CAS) for a match to more permanent housing assistance.
This funding opportunity will support our community goal to effectively reduce youth homelessness. “This funding award is the result of year-round planning with critical partners in the fight to end youth homelessness. Service providers, local governments, advocates, and youth with lived experience of homelessness came together to examine the needs and gaps in our community and develop a Framework for Ending Homelessness in Dallas and Collin Counties. This is truly a community-led approach to ending youth homelessness. Today’s announcement is further evidence that the system transformation work we began 3 years ago is leading to increased collaboration and funding, allowing us to serve & permanently house more people than ever before. We appreciate the partnership with HUD & the ongoing partnerships throughout Dallas & Collin Counties that have brought us to this day,” said Peter Brodsky, Housing Forward Board Chair.
Elevate North Texas is a youth provider within the All Neighbors Coalition that aims to fill in the gap of youth homelessness with emergency shelter and provide a safe, affirming environment through access to immediate shelter and reunification with family, when possible. “At Elevate North Texas we know that every single night young people are going without safe, stable housing and that our unhoused youth face a multitude of barriers in finding emergency shelter and getting connected to resources. I am proud of the work of Elevate North Texas and proud of the work of our All Neighbors Coalition in continuing to focus our efforts on addressing youth homelessness. There is much work to do and this additional funding from HUD allows us to continue to do this critically important work,” said Jason Vallejo, Founder & Executive Director of Elevate North Texas.
The Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) supports selected communities in the development and implementation of a coordinated community approach to preventing and ending youth homelessness. This community planning approach supports the foundations outlined in the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) All In report and will guide communities in designing solutions that match the needs of their community with special attention on creating equitable strategies to assist youth who are most vulnerable, including BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and differently abled youth. “Unfortunately, youth often experience the brunt of failed systems. This significant award will help us strengthen the services provided to youth, create and maintain a coordinated approach to addressing youth homelessness, and effectively reduce the number of youth that are represented in our overall unhoused population,” said Ashley Brundage, Previous All Neighbors Coalition Board Chair.
“Every neighbor in our community deserves to have safe, stable housing. This necessary work is only possible with our incredible system partners, our youth service providers, and perhaps most importantly our Youth Action Board who lend their voices and experiences to ensure we are creating a system that effectively meets our unhoused youth’s needs,” said Joli Angel Robinson, President and CEO of Housing Forward.