Welcome to the California Homeless Youth Project


The HYP has focused on some of the many public policy issues related to homeless youth, including:

A range of targeted resources, including websites, reports and policy briefs, is provided for these issues.

Counting Homeless Youth

Estimating California's Homeless Population, Lisa K. Foster (October 2010).
This report concludes that a reliable statewide estimate of the number – and characteristics – of unaccompanied homeless youth does not exist. It explains why it is difficult to collect data on this population and describes the specific federal and state sources that provide information. It also presents Action Steps for accomplishing this task.

Counting Homeless Youth, National Alliance to End Homelessness (October 2010)
This toolkit was designed to help local communities act now to ensure that unaccompanied youth age 24 and under are included in the 2011 PIT count.


Surviving Crime and Violence: Street Youth and Victimization in Toronto, S. Gaetz, B. O’Grady, K. Bucierri (September 2010). 
New research that highlights the degree to which street youth are victims of crime and violence.

Homeless Youth and Sexual Exploitation: Research Finding and Practice Implications, National Alliance to End Homelessness (October 2009).
This brief reviews research on the involvement of youth in various types of sexual exploitation, including survival sex and recruitment into the commercial sex industry; it recommends programs to meet their needs.

Homeless Youth and the Perilous Passage to Adulthood, J. Hagan and B. McCarthy (April 2005).
This University of Pennsylvania Policy Brief reports on a survey of youth in two Canadian cities with very different law enforcement approaches to homelessness and the resulting impact on youth.

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National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY at www.naehcy.org).
This website provides educational and policy resources on this issue.

A Critical Moment: Child and Youth Homelessness in Our Nation’s Schools, National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (July 2010).
This brief summarizes recent survey and federal data showing a 41% increase in the number of homeless students identified and enrolled in public schools over a two-year period.

Transitions to Adulthood for Homeless Adolescents: Education and Public Policy, W. Tierney, J. Gupton, R. Hallett (April 2008).
USC Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis study of Los Angeles homeless youth provides a mechanism for these youth to describe their experiences and challenges and to begin a dialog with policymakers and practitioners on improving educational policy.

The Educational Success of Homeless Youth in California: Challenges and Solutions, P. Julianelle (October 2007).
This CRB/HYP report discusses key issues and challenges faced by homeless youth face in achieving their educational goals. It describes federal and state programs and funding, identifies successful practices and model programs, and presents policy options.

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The Homeless Youth Capacity Building Project

Building on HYP research, The John Burton Foundation for Children Without Homes and the California Coalition for Youth launched a major initiative in 2009 to address the disparity of services provided to youth throughout California.

This two-year project, funded by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, reduces homelessness among youth ages 16-24 by organizing nonprofit homeless youth providers to advocate for better local, state and federal policies, and by expanding their organizational capacity to create an effective statewide network.  

New Homes, Brighter Futures: Profiles of Housing Programs for Young Adults, Corporation for Supportive Housing (September 2007).
This publication profiles supportive housing models for homeless youth or those at risk of homelessness and discusses the role of supportive housing in ending homelessness among young adults.

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Struggling to Survive: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning Homeless Youth on the Streets of California, Shahera Hyatt (March 2011).
This report highlights the challenges faced by LGBTQ homeless youth in California and offers policy recommendations designed to reduce disparities and improve the lives of these youth.

On the Streets: The Federal Response to Gay and Transgender Homeless Youth, Center for American Progress (June 2010).
This report examines gay and transgender youth homelessness and provides a blueprint for action.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth, An Epidemic of Homelessness, N. Ray (2006).
An in-depth report from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute and the National Coalition for the Homeless on the number of LGBT youth, how they become homeless, critical issues, and policies and programs for this population.

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Relationships Beget Relationships:  Why Understanding Attachment Theory is Crucial to Program Design for Homeless Youth,T.V. Heineman (June 2010).
This HYP Special Topic report explores how attachment theory provides both useful insights about why homeless youth don’t easily accept the help and support that adults offer and answers that help develop policies and programs to successfully address their needs.

Child Traumatic Stress: What Every Policymaker Should Know, E. Gerrity and C. Folcarelli (2008).
This National Child Traumatic Stress Network guide educates policymakers about the scope and impact of trauma on children and youth; it offers solutions and provides information about resources.

Trauma Among Homeless Youth, A. Schneir and others (2007).
This brief discusses why youth leave home and explores the types and consequences of trauma experienced by runaway and homeless youth. It also identifies treatment considerations based on focus groups of homeless youth conducted by Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

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