Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program Begins

10/30/18 – Connecticut’s Balance of State Continuum of Care, in partnership with the Department of Housing, was awarded a two year, $6,552,903 Youth Homelessness Demonstration program (YHDP) grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The program provides new youth specific homeless response resources including youth navigators, diversion and rapid exit funds, crisis housing, rapid re-housing, and provider training and technical assistance. YHDP is helping CT reach the goal of ending youth homelessness by 2020 (Opening Doors for Youth Plan 2.0). The YHDP projects will be part of a coordinated housing continuum that ensures youth experiencing homelessness receive the assistance needed to rapidly obtain permanent housing.

YHDP programs will begin in November 2018 and funding will be used for the following strategies:

  • Shelter Diversion/Rapid Exit Fund that will provide onetime financial assistance to youth and young adults to assist them with avoiding shelter or rapidly exiting crisis housing. 
  • Youth Navigators will work with youth and providers to help streamline the Coordinated Access process from entry to exit. 
  • Crisis Housing for Youth (23 additional beds) will provide youth specific services and supports in an emergency shelter setting for youth who are literally homeless. 
  • Rapid Re-Housing will rapidly re-house youth who are unsheltered or are currently in emergency shelter. 
  • Training and Learning Collaboratives to implement best practices, network, and share successful strategies.

The agencies receiving funding and involved in the above projects include: Access Agency, CHR, Columbus House, Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, Connection, Inc., CRT, Journey Home, Mental Health Connecticut, Inc., Noank Community Support Services, Reliance Health, Salvation Army Marshall House, Salvation Army of New Britain, Salvation Army Waterbury Corp., Thames River Community Service Inc., Youth Continuum, and the Women and Families Center.

The Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness (CCEH) will begin hosting trainings for agencies involved in November 2018. CCEH has a YHDP Provider Resource Page with more details and resources for agencies implementing the YHDP grant.