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A 100-day Challenge to End Youth Homelessness in Three Cities

Published: July 28, 2016
July 28, 2016
Girl wearing a hat and backpack looking at a busy city street

By Rafael López, Commissioner, Administration on Children, Youth and Families

In communities across our country, too many young people face the harsh reality of not having a safe place to lay their heads and sleep for the night. In our recent Street Outreach Program report, we learned that most older youth become homeless for the first time because they are asked to leave home by a parent or caregiver. More than half have tried to stay at a shelter but it was full. More than 60% were raped, beaten up, robbed, or otherwise assaulted. Nearly 30% identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual, and nearly 7% identified as transgender. About half of the youth had been in foster care, and those who had been in foster care had been homeless for much longer compared to youth who hadn’t.

It doesn’t have to be this way. To do better, we are teaming up with A Way Home America and the Rapid Results Institute to launch a 100-Day Challenge to end youth homelessness.

The purpose of the 100-Day Challenge is to help catalyze community action to establish bold, creative, and innovative ways to help homeless youth find stable housing. The short timeline is intentional, inviting communities and their cross-sector partners to generate urgency and action.

The 100-Day Challenge will launch on September 7, 2016, in three communities -- Austin, Cleveland, and Los Angeles, who were chosen through a competitive process for their innovative approaches to addressing youth homelessness.  We are grateful for the leaders who are willing to work in these communities to solve this daunting challenge. The 100-day challenge is only one part of a comprehensive solution. Together with our federal partners, the Department of Health and Human Services is committed to ending youth and family homelessness by 2020.

At the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families, we support the plan by working to support vulnerable youth experiencing homelessness through programs like Basic Center, Transitional Living, and Street Outreach and in partnership with  the  Children’s Bureau and the nation’s child welfare systems to prevent homelessness before it begins.

By working together to put into place proven practices along with continuous bold new thinking we intend to make the goal a reality. Our youth deserve nothing less.

To learn more and follow the challenges, visit

For information about how the federal government is involved in ending youth homelessness, go to the Federal Framework to End Youth Homelessness.

This post originally appeared on the HHS Blog.

Archived: November 14, 2017

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