New York City Youth Homelessness Assessment Identifies Prevention and Response Improvements

PHOTO: NYC Youth Action Board members. Lucien Samaha, courtesy of Point Source Youth

Today Chapin Hall released New York City’s first rapid, mixed-methods assessment of the system of services and supports available to youth experiencing homelessness. 

The report—A Youth Homelessness System Assessment for New York Cityfound 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.  

Chapin Hall recommended that the city identify and equip a single office for coordinating an interagency response to youth homelessness, develop shared processes and tools for coordinated entry and support of youth through the youth homelessness system, and locate affordable housing and effective career development opportunities for youth.  

New York City has the largest homeless population in the country, and the third highest number of unaccompanied youth. On a single night in 2018, more than 4,500 unaccompanied and parenting youth were counted as experiencing homelessness. They are disproportionately youth of color (95%) and gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer/questioning (42%).  

Chapin Hall is committed to engaging communities as co-participants in research with the ultimate goal of positive change. This study involved close collaboration with the NYC’s Youth Action Board and Youth Homelessness Taskforce. Data collection included interviews and focus groups with 53 youth with lived experience of homelessness and 45 adult stakeholders with various roles in the system, along with a survey of community-based organizations and data gathering from multiple city agencies. 

Jha’asryel-Akquil Bishop, a youth leader who experienced housing instability, served on Chapin Hall’s research team. Leading the study were Chapin Hall’s Dr. Matt Morton and Dr. Melissa Kull, along with Erin CarreonAlison Chrisler, and Raúl Chávez 

The complete study, a system map and capacity overview, an executive summary, and a one-page description of findings are available from the Youth Homelessness System Assessment Research Summary page