StandUp for Kids – DC Advocacy Team

Who we are and what we strive for

In a place where leaders provide for the welfare of the nation’s youth, the welfare of DC’s own youth shall not be overlooked. The DC program advocates for young people in this city to have the basic human rights of shelter, food, and security. We believe it is the responsibility of the entire community to keep our youth safe, sheltered, and supported.

Our initiatives:

  • Promotion of the DC Five Year Plan to End Youth Homelessness: StandUp for Kids – DC helped co-author the first CBO-led five year community plan to end youth homelessness, which resulted in the city’s own adoption of a five year plan with many of the same principles in December 2016. 
  • Helping concerned citizens meet their legislators about national youth homelessness: If you are interested in working with StandUp to meet with your legislators on youth homelessness, please contact us.
  • Awareness building through education: We provide education to the public! Learn more about youth issues: Homelessness among LGBTQ  | Housing issues in DC | The real cost of homelessness

Who are youth that experience homelessness?

Youth that find themselves without a safe or adequate nighttime residence are hidden amongst us. They come from all walks of life. They are our neighbors, our students, our athletes, our artists. They run away from abuse and neglect at home, or they are “thrown away” when families break down, emotionally or financially. They “couch surf” if they can. Often, they have children of their own. When their families lose housing, they arrive at shelters with their siblings and parents. They are a part of our community.Not knowing their struggles and dreams is no longer an excuse for doing nothing.

What do homeless youth need from adults?

In a word, homeless youth need our commitment: The District should finally stand with young people and make a commitment to strategies that will end their homelessness and allow them to thrive—not just scrape by in a closed-door system without supports, safety, and recognition. 

What happens if we do nothing?

As a result of our ongoing under-investment, more and more youth are being told there is simply no space at emergency shelters. They are turned onto the streets to fend for themselves, often falling victim to sexual exploitation and survival crimes. This fate is unconscionable. It is also cost-ineffective. If we want to prevent adult homelessness, we need to invest in young people. If we don’t do anything, we will pay greatly for our inaction. 

Contact us

If you would like to learn more about our advocacy initiatives, please contact our Director of Advocacy & Local Partnership Development, Tomas Green