Conducting a Youth Count: A Toolkit

A step-by-step guide for communities conducting homeless youth counts

Voices of Youth Count (VoYC) was s a national initiative designed to fill gaps in our knowledge about youth homelessness in the U.S. We elevated the experiences of young people ages 13 to 25 who were experiencing homelessness, and their voices informed the policy, programs, and systems addressed in this project.

As part of that work, the Voices of Youth Count team conducted youth counts in collaboration with 22 urban, suburban, and rural communities across the U.S. The VoYC methodology for youth counts emphasizes the importance of engaging and empowering youth and community stakeholders. Conducting a Youth Count: A Toolkit breaks down the methodology into a step-by-step guide, including all of the materials and resources you need to conduct a youth count.

The toolkit is organized into five phases: getting started, planning and holding focus groups, preparing for the youth count, conducting the youth count, and using the data. In each phase, we provide guidance and links to helpful tools. You will find details about the steps for planning and executing a youth count along with the lessons we learned while in the field. The tools include the worksheets, annotated agendas, training and focus groups materials and protocols, and other resources needed to complete each step within the phase.

For more information on the Toolkit or the Voices of Youth Count initiative, contact us at