On January 8th, 2013, State Senator Carol Liu released a new strategic plan to end youth homelessness in California. This action plan, entitled More Than a Roof: How California Can End Youth Homelessness, identifies action steps in ten core areas of vulnerability and growth potential – including prevention, education and employment, service needs and coordination, legislation and law enforcement, and research and data.
One such action step is to research whether service providers and government agencies are participating fully in Continuum of Care (CoC) Point-in-Time Counts to ensure that necessary data is being collected to monitor progress toward ending youth homelessness. This has also become a top priority at the Federal level through the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH). This month, USICH, in partnership with the Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Health and Human Services (HHS), and Education (ED), launched Youth Count!, an interagency initiative to develop promising strategies for counting unaccompanied homeless youth. These plans and initiatives reflect a heightened emphasis in 2013 on the problem of youth homelessness, and we will continue to follow these issues in the months to come.