New York City Addresses Youth Homelessness, Acts on Chapin Hall Recommendations

Representatives of the New York City Mayor's office introduce Chapin Hall researchers at a Continuum of Care meeting in May 2019.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced new investments to prevent and address youth homelessness in the city. Many of the new investments reflect recommendations from Chapin Hall’s rapid, mixed-methods assessment of the system of services and supports available to youth experiencing homelessness. These investments include:

  • Creating a Senior Advisor for Youth Homelessness role under the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services to oversee interagency initiatives
  • Supporting the NYC Youth Action Board to integrate people with lived experience within the NYC Coalition on the Continuum of Care
  • Using research, data, and technology to improve outcomes for all New Yorkers, and particularly homeless youth
  • Providing developmentally appropriate supports for parenting youth
  • Piloting the provision of prevention resources in a 24-hour drop-in center in Queens

In a press release from Mayor De Blasio, Bryan Samuels, Executive Director of Chapin Hall, said, “New York City exposed their system to external scrutiny so that they could have an objective, evidence-based assessment of their services to youth experiencing homelessness. [The] announcement of increased service coordination and availability reflects not only many of our recommendations, but also a commitment to using data and evidence to inform decision making. That’s good news for New York City’s youth.”

Chapin Hall’s assessment found that, while the city has expanded some services and prioritized addressing youth homelessness, significant gaps remain in prevention, affordable housing options and coordination of services for youth. The assessment specifically recommended that New York City identify and equip a single office to coordinate interagency response to youth homelessness.

At Chapin Hall, this work was led by Dr. Matthew Morton and Dr. Melissa Kull, with Erin Carreon, Alison Chrisler, and Raul Chavez. Jha’asryel-Akquil Bishop, a youth leader who experienced housing instability, served on Chapin Hall’s research team.