Runaway and Homeless Youth

Coordinating Youth Response

When runaway and homeless youth come off the streets, they often need several services and opportunities to get them back on their feet: mental health counseling, health supports, housing subsidies, educational guidance and employment assistance. To build the strongest possible safety net for young people in extreme need, the federal agencies that provide those individual services must work toward a shared mission, driven by a common understanding of evidence-based strategies.

Since 2008, FYSB has been an integral member of the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs, which is working to make sure that federal youth programs are collectively doing all they can to help young people transition successfully to adulthood. FYSB also sits on the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, which coordinates federal programs and activities that detain or care for unaccompanied juveniles and federal programs relating to missing and exploited children.

Supporting all Transitioning Youth

Homeless youth and foster youth share many of the same challenges as they move toward self-sufficiency: housing, education, employment, financial management and emotional support. FYSB and the Children’s Bureau collaborate closely to make sure that effective practices are shared between the Transitional Living Program and the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program to efficiently deliver integrated services.  

Ending Youth Homelessness

In 2010, the federal government released a comprehensive strategy to end chronic and veteran homelessness by 2015 and child, family and youth homelessness by 2020. FYSB is working with the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness and its 19 federal agencies, state and local governments, advocates, service providers, and people experiencing homelessness to implement the strategy to accomplish this goal.

Keeping Youth Safe

Young people who live on the streets are often targets of traffickers who rely on violence and coercion to sexually exploit them. FYSB sits on the Federal Agency Task Force on Missing and Exploited Children and works closely with the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Justice and the Office of Refugee Resettlement within the Department of Health and Human Services to find and support these victims of domestic minor sex trafficking.

Providing Much-Needed Shelter

Homeless young people who graduate from or live in areas not served by FYSB programs often need subsidized housing for a while until they can make a full transition to self-sufficiency. FYSB partners with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to ensure that homeless young people have access to the federal housing programs that can help complete that transition.

Making Education a Priority

Homeless young people often get disconnected from the one place that can provide them with safety, structure and opportunity: school. FYSB works with the Department of Education to make sure that the provisions of the McKinney-Vento Act -- which guarantees homeless children and youth an uninterrupted education-- are fully enacted across the country. In that same spirit, FYSB works collaboratively with many partners to ensure that youth are supported and encouraged to pursue high quality postsecondary education. 

Creating Opportunities to Succeed

To fully transition to economic independence, homeless young people need opportunities to learn job skills and money management strategies. FYSB collaborates with the Department of Labor’s YouthBuild program and the Office of Community Services Assets for Independence program to help provide those life skills.


Last Reviewed: June 20, 2014