CCC Report: Young and Homeless: A Look at Homeless Youth in New York City
Published March 2006
Our findings and recommendations regarding the service needs of homeless youth, supplemented by independent research and discussions with city agency representatives, suggest the need for system-wide reforms and improved coordination among city agencies to help eliminate program shortfalls that contribute to the number of young people experiencing homelessness.
Through surveys of eight homeless youth providers (crisis shelter, transitional living programs, drop-in centers and outreach services) and interviews of 88 young people, we sought to identify programs, policies and practice that could help prevent episodes of youth homelessness, assist homeless youth in returning home to a family member or guardian or to transition to permanent housing on their own. The surveys were conducted by CCC staff, CCC adult volunteers and CCC’s YouthAction program.
CCC’s report includes the following recommendations:
- The NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) should improve methods of data collection and analysis to inform public policy around prevention activities and service needs for homeless youth.
- Interagency collaboration should be strengthened to ensure that city agency policies and practices do not result in young people becoming homeless.
- When appropriate, opportunities for family counseling and mediation should be encouraged and provided to young people in residential and non-residential programs, regardless of whether homeless youth plan to return home.
- Given the large number of homeless youth who have previously been in foster care, designated staff from the NYC Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) and DYCD should form a working group to better collaborate.
- Increase the temporary housing options available to young people.