Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project Funds Efforts to End Youth Homelessness

Chapin Hall supports award recipients

Youth homelessness is a national challenge that requires national commitment. But it also requires solutions that are close to home – addressing specific needs county by county and city by city.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds an initiative called the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project (YHDP) to help states and local communities fight youth homelessness with solutions tailored to their young people. The YHDP awards funds to reduce the number of youth experiencing homelessness, and it represents a big step forward in listening to young people with lived experience and working with communities to find solutions.

In 2022, Chapin Hall researchers helped YHDP recipients Hennepin County, Minnesota and New York City create Coordinated Community Plans (CCPs). CCPs lay out how funds will be used to prevent and end youth homelessness, and they must be approved by HUD before funds are awarded. CCPs are crafted by collaboratives of community stakeholders, technical assistance providers, and Youth Advisory Boards made up of youth with lived expertise. They describe young peoples’ needs, systems’ ability to meet those needs, service gaps, and projections of how different housing programs could reduce the number of youth experiencing homelessness. For more details, explore the announcement of New York City’s prevention plan, which was powered by a $15 million YHDP grant.

To inform Hennepin County and New York City’s CCPs, our researchers used youth homelessness systems data and analyses of published reports to up-to-date estimates of the number of youth experiencing homelessness by age and family status (parenting or single). They also connected with community members to understand the range of experiences youth experiencing homelessness may have, like parenting, sex trafficking, and contact with the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

The research team produced the following for our partners to strengthen their CCP:

  • Updated estimates of youth experiencing homelessness and the overlap of youth experiencing homelessness with other systems (such as child welfare, juvenile justice, and education) for both recipients.

New York City

  • Participated in the Planning Committee, bringing an evidence-informed decision-making perspective to the process.  
  • Led the development of the Statement of Need for the Coordinated Community Plan.  
  • Led topic-specific evidence presentations to inform planning discussions. We presented local findings and described the city’s current resources to address youth needs, like mental health services and education and employment assistance.  
  • Facilitated youth engagement and development in data, research, and evaluation.  

Hennepin County

  • Interviews with stakeholders who work directly with youth at risk of homelessness (like those aging out of foster care or leaving the justice system) to identify prevention opportunities.
  • An assessment of the CCP planning process informed by surveys of each project’s Core Planning Teams and Youth Advisory Boards.
  • An outcomes framework aligned with recommendations in the CCP that could guide a evaluation of the community’s YHDP funded projects.

Chapin Hall is committed to helping communities understand and use evidence to drive decision-making. We are also dedicated to increasing collaboration between researchers, governments, and youth with lived expertise so we can effectively support our partners to design programs that help young people build a brighter future. Our experts have deep experience in data analysis and research on youth experiencing housing instability, and on how to apply that evidence on a local level to prevent and address homelessness.

For more information about this project, please contact Senior Researcher Melissa Kull.