On May 2nd the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released the Tier 2 awards and individual communities experienced one of the following:
- A CoC award for a youth specific project for the first time;
- An increase in the number of CoC funded beds for youth;
- A decrease in the number of CoC funded beds for youth; or
- No noticeable change in the number of CoC funded beds for youth.
Overall, HUD saw an increase in the number of youth specific beds in CoCs by 50%. This is really good news for many communities who have received HUD resources for youth for the first time, and for communities that now have increased capacity to serve young people. We are encouraged by these numbers because they are going in the right direction – up! Also, these numbers indicate that communities do want to serve these young people.
NN4Y is concerned that in some CoCs several youth projects were cut completely due to “performance outcomes.” Because the performance of youth-specific projects are not currently being assessed using youth-appropriate measures, we think it is premature to cut funding to youth projects based on current measures. NN4Y remains committed to continue working with our federal partners on the development of measures that can be embraced by multiple federal agencies serving youth experiencing homelessness. However, until the measures are in place, we urge HUD to withhold cutting funding to youth projects during the next award cycle.
Also, we found it interesting that the increase in Transitional Housing (TH) beds for youth is largely a result of TH projects changing their service focus from other populations to youth instead. Our hope is that these new projects serving youth will be provided with adequate training and technical assistance to serve young people in ways that are developmentally appropriate and enable both the young person and project to be successful.
Finally, NN4Y urges you to stay engaged with us, your local community and the national movement to end youth homelessness. Momentum is building and we need each of you to be actively engaged in the shaping of local and national responses to youth homelessness. We cannot be successful without your dedication, passion, expertise and willingness to think outside of the box!
 In this document, the use of the word “youth” refers to 18 to 24 year olds.