End Youth Homelessness

What Youth Need

You might not realize a young person is homeless if you pass them on the street or in the halls of your local school. Homeless youth can be found living on the street, on a friend’s couch, or in a temporary shelter. No one’s experience is the same.

Youth from Sasha Bruce Youthwork in Washington, D.C., a Family and Youth Services Bureau grantee, share what they need as they work to overcome homelessness:

“I would like to go back to school! I would like to take up psychology and we need money to do that and we need shelter to do that so we can come and go as we please, and you know, get the education that we need.”

“I need living services. I need some more job leads. I need food. I need clothing. I need a lot.”

“I just see you have more problems when you don’t have money so money would probably be a good thing to have all the time.”

“Basically more of my family support and my son’s family.”

What Worked

Stable housing, permanent connections, education, and employment can help runaway and homeless youth establish a path out of homelessness.

Formerly homeless youth share what helped them leave homelessness and find success.

Nicole Lowe

“I was able to overcome homelessness because I found a reason to do so. My son. I didn’t want him to experience what I had. I couldn’t bear seeing him hungry, cold, or sick and without medical care.” -Nicole Lowe, Utah Assistant Attorney General, Child Protection Division

Maj. Gen. Linda L. Singh

“While [the Maryland National Guard] helped me to get out of my current situation, it was years of continued learning, experiences and healing that have helped me to overcome the scars of the past. If I had to do it over again, I would reach out to someone and have a conversation to determine what options exist.” -Maj. Gen. Linda L. Singh, Adjutant General, Maryland National Guard

Syncere Mitchell

“[The Night Ministry] opened a low barrier youth shelter which allowed folks to come in as they are. They were there just solely to provide the support that you needed at that time, which blew my mind because I never thought that someone would be willing to give or to help without receiving something in return.” -Syncere Mitchell, The Night Ministry

What We’re Doing FYSB collaborations

Through the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act, the Family & Youth Services Bureau has provided funding to programs tailored to the needs of homeless and unstably housed teens and young adults since 1974. Street outreach, emergency shelter, and transitional living programs across the country provide young people with the tools and support they need to leave homelessness behind forever.

Together with the U.S. Department of Education, we’re working to promote positive educational and related outcomes for disconnected youth.

We’ve combined our reporting system with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to paint a more complete picture of homelessness in the United States. Also, we’re working together on the new Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program, which will provide funding to 10 communities across the country to reduce the number of youth experiencing homelessness.

Collaborations with the departments of Justice and Labor continue to ensure that runaway and homeless youth are supported in the employment and legal issues they face.

We know homeless youth need a variety of services, and to be successful, those agencies and organizations need to work together. We’re committed to working with our federal partners to address the health, well-being, and future of runaway and homeless youth.

Listen as one youth describes the help she received from National Runaway Safeline, a FYSB partner.

What You Can Do

Find A Program

Almost 600 FYSB-supported programs across the country—and many others that don’t get federal funding—provide vital services to homeless youth. Find a program in your community and ask how you can help.

Grantees of the Family and Youth Services Bureau


Sign up for updates from the National Clearinghouse on Families & Youth to keep up with FYSB’s work to end youth homelessness.


Join the conversation and spread the word on social media, encouraging your community to #EndYouthHomelessness. Here are some sample messages to get you started:

Hear real stories from current and former homeless youth and find out how we can all help to #EndYouthHomelessness. http://bit.ly/1OVUj1H

Learn what homeless youth need to escape homelessness, find success: http://bit.ly/1OVUj1H #EndYouthHomelessness #NRPM2016

DYK there's a 24/7 hotline for runaway & #homelessyouth? Learn more in new PSAs from @FYSBgov http://bit.ly/1OVUj1H