Homelessness and Youth
Over 13 million people in the U.S have been homeless at least once during their lives. While the majority of the homeless population is comprised of adult individuals, a growing percentage is made up of families and young people under the age of 21. The prospect of becoming homeless is difficult to contemplate at any age, but presents a special challenge for children and teens. Activities their peers take for granted, such as attending school regularly, participating in extracurricular activities, or planning for college, can become complex and daunting tasks without reliable transportation, or a permanent address or telephone number. In recognition of these challenges, GovBenefits.gov is highlighting some of the benefit programs available to assist homeless and at-risk young people.

  • Education for Homeless Children and Youth
    The Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program ensures that homeless children and youth have equal access to the same free, appropriate public education as other children. It also provides activities for and services to ensure that these children enroll in, attend, and achieve success in school. The program is designed to establish or designate an office in each state educational agency (SEA) for the coordination of education for homeless children and youth as well as to develop and implement programs for school personnel to heighten awareness of specific problems for homeless children and youth. For more information visit www.govbenefits.gov/govbenefits/benefits/report.jhtml?bid=908

  • Street Outreach Program
    The Street Outreach Program (SOP) provides outreach services designed to build relationships between outreach workers and street youth. The goal of these efforts is to protect young people from the damaging effects of street life. SOPs are found in various cities across the country. Services include education, outreach, access to emergency shelter, survival aid, counseling, information and referral, crisis intervention, and follow up support. For more information visit www.govbenefits.gov/govbenefits/benefits/report.jhtml?bid=647

  • Opportunities for Youth: Youthbuild Program
    The opportunities are designed to help disadvantaged young adults who have dropped out of high school to obtain the education and employment skills necessary to achieve economic self-efficiency and develop leadership skills and a commitment to community development in low-income communities. For more information visit www.govbenefits.gov/govbenefits/benefits/report.jhtml?bid=743

  • Youth Education and Training Activities
    The Youth Activities Program provides grants to State and local communities to operate a comprehensive array of youth services that help low-income youth (ages 14-21) seeking assistance in achieving academic and employment success. Program participants receive services such as occupational skills training, counseling, internships, job placements, mentoring, tutoring, leadership development, and support services. For more information visit www.govbenefits.gov/govbenefits/benefits/report.jhtml?bid=95