About Us

The National Network for Youth (NN4Y) is the nation’s leading organization advocating at the federal level to educate the public and policymakers about the needs of homeless and disconnected youth. We are a membership organization of service providers, state agencies, coalitions, advocates and individuals who work towards our vision of a world where vulnerable and homeless youth can escape the dangers of the streets and access safety, youth-appropriate services, hope and healing.

The National Network, located in Washington, DC, builds relationships with policymakers and government agencies in order to champion the diverse needs of homeless and disconnected youth. Together with our members, we recommend strategic and targeted actions to support coordinated efforts to engage, serve and empower youth and families in crisis. The policy and legislative work we do is meant to provide our members (you!) with resources to better serve the needs of youth and their families.

In carrying out our mission as the nation’s leading network of homeless and runaway youth programs and their allies, we provide our members with:

  • Networking- information about organizations’ collaborative initiatives, promising practices and innovative strategies.
  • Knowledge- useful, timely and relevant information to increase the capacity of communities to serve youth and families in crisis.
  • Solutions- access to resources and innovative solutions to challenges communities face.
  • Public Policy- federal policy advocacy, access to policy makers, policy action alerts and insider federal government information.

We partner with our members to enact public policies that decrease the number of youth who:

  • Couch-surf or live on the streets
  • Run away from home
  • Are ejected from their home
  • Are homeless

By doing this, our members prevent youth from:

  • Criminal justice system ensnarement
  • Victimization, exploitation and trafficking
  • Chronic homelessness as adults
  • Suffering with untreated physical and mental illnesses
  • Death


National Network for Youth envisions a world where vulnerable youth have a safety net everywhere they turn — creating positive and strong communities one youth at a time.

Mission Statement

The mission of the National Network is to champion the needs of runaway, homeless, and other disconnected youth through strengthening the capacity of community-based services by facilitating resource-sharing and influencing public policy.

Accomplishment Highlights

  • NN4Y was the architect of the federal Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) signed into law in 1974 and has led every subsequent reauthorization and expansion. We convened and lead the RHYA Reauthorization 2013-2014 Working Group, thirty-four  expert homeless and vulnerable youth organizations.
  • During every budget debate we are at the table educating Congress about the necessity of runaway and homeless youth interventions to communities, families and young people in crisis.
  • NN4Y was instrumental in changing the definition of homelessness in the McKinney-Vento Act to become more inclusive of youth.
  • NN4Y is relied upon by Congress and the Administration to advise them on the needs of homeless youth.
  • NN4Y has formed a close alliance with federal agencies to promote efficient and appropriate administration of federal grants relevant to prevention and crisis intervention for runaway and homeless youth.

Become a Member Today

Learn more about NN4Y membership benefits and application process here.