National Innovation and Research Roundup

Sep 4, 2017

By Eddy Ameen, PhD, National Board Chair 

It might sound strange, but I love how many email lists I subscribe to! I find it the best way for me to stay in the know about youth homlessness nationally. Luckily for my colleagues, I don’t forward everything I read; however, when I amass a curated collection of the best new links, I send them off to our executive directors across the country. For the first time, I am sharing these links on our blog, too, in the hopes that the information you see will move you, educate you, and inspire you to deepen your involvement.



  • To our local programs in the news! AtlantaChicago, and Oceanside (1 and 2). 
  • Also to our former board member Rich Hooks Wayman, now the executive director of the Children’s Defense Fund – in this 4 minute audio clip on lessons learned from a career devoted to homeless youth.


  • Webinar Thurs Sept 21: Join National Network for Youth and SchoolHouse Connection for a webinar from 1 to 2:15pm EST that will provide the latest updates on federal legislation and budget plans related to child, youth, and family homelessness. Register free-of-charge here
  • Videos and slides of sessions from Point Source Youth’s recent National Symposium on Solutions to End Youth Homelessness are now available. I watched some of these and I think they’ll really expand what we see as possible.
  • Read and share this compilation of federal grantees’ thoughts on how to make street outreach safe and supportive for volunteers
  • Fundraising and supporter-garnering: Listen to this 36-min podcast from Successful Nonprofits on helping you choose just six words to explain the importance of what YOU do with StandUp For Kids. 


Quick takes

New research

  • What influences Drop-In Center use? Researchers describe the characteristics of youth who use drop-in centers and what factors contribute to drop-in center use. Two things that make a big difference are peer referrals and an inclusive sense of belonging. 
  • In a study of runaway youth in 11 US cities, 44% reported that they had been in jail, prison, or a juvenile detention center. Additionally, nearly 78% reported having at least one interaction with the police and almost 62% said they had been arrested.
  • Youth in foster care are 3 to 10 times more likely to experience homelessness than their peers, and report being homeless for three years on average (a full year longer than youth experiencing homelessness without a history of foster care). Learn how states compare in this database. 
  • One in twenty kids aged six and under experienced family homelessness in a new report. Find out how this number varies by checking out your own state’s report card.
  • What are the differences between parenting/pregnant youth experiencing homelessness and their peers who aren’t pregnant/parenting. This study sought to find out. 
  • State reports cards have also been released to show trends in homelessness as reported by K-12 school systems.
  • Here’s an impressive data visualization tool that helps you understand homelessness as recorded in a recent national point-in-time count. 


  • This guide provides guidance on how to engage youth in the decision-making process and in the development of projects. When youth are meaningfully engaged, youth are more likely to participate in those projects. 
  • Is your community using coordinated entry to assign shelter beds and other services to young people, making it easier for them to get the care they need? Learn more about coordinated entry.
  • Tools for helping youth achieve financial independence.
  • Interested in assessing how truama-informed your local program is? Look at this tool.