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Resources Relevant to Homeless Youth Count for Community Providers

Ending homelessness today – Point in time counts

Format: Website: 2015
Source: National Alliance to End Homelessness
Available online:
Notes: This website has complete and up-to-date information on conducting PIT homeless counts, including separate web pages on trends in homelessness, the 2015 homeless count details (for adults), counts that include the youth count, and various other information about conducting point-in-time counts.

Here’s how Las Vegas got a more accurate count of their homeless youth

Format: Website: 2014
Source: Mitchell, W., & Cavallaro, E. on the National Alliance to End Homelessness web site
Available online:
Notes: Homeless youth are hard to count for a variety of reasons, but if we want to craft targeted and cost-effective solutions, it’s vitally important that they’re included. Homeless advocates and experts have devised several strategies for including them in counts. In the homeless assistance field, there is widespread recognition that we need to do a better job counting homeless youth. Many communities have made a concerted effort to do just that. One of them is Las Vegas/Clark County. Here’s how they did it.

Hidden in plain sight: An assessment of youth inclusion in point-in-time counts of California’s unsheltered homeless population

Format: Booklet: PDF – 70 pages, 2013
Source: Auerswald, Lin, Petry, & Hyatt; CA Homeless Youth Project or the CA State Library
Available online:

Notes: The California Homeless Youth Project (HYP) is a multi-year research and policy initiative of the California Research Bureau and the California State Library. The HYP highlights issues and solutions for youth ages twelve to twenty-four who are living “on the edge” of homelessness or are currently homeless in California. In particular, the HYP engages these youth directly in research and policy discussions, giving voice to their experiences and recommendations, as well as to those of researchers, practitioners and policy experts.    

Homeless youth speak out

Format: You Tube Video: 5:42 min. 2012
Source: Vollmeyer, D. Washington Interfaith Network’s Youth Homelessness Campaign
Available online:
Notes: Video of interviews of homeless youth in Washington DC.

Kicked out: LGBT youth experience homelessness

Format: You Tube Video: 16:55 min. 2011
Source: Morrison & Sanchez for In The Life Media:
Available online:
Notes: IN THE LIFE travels from New York to Illinois and California for a stark look at LGBT youth who are kicked out of their homes. Nominated for a GLAAD Media Award.

New Orleans gutter punks

Format: You Tube Video: 4:56 min. 2015
Source: BornreadyBRF: Exile by choice
Available online:
Notes: A gritty look into the subculture of street kids and off the grid traveling through sober eyes.

PIT count methodology guide

Format: HUD Guide & Standards: PDF – 79 pages, 2014
Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Community Planning and Development
Available online:
Notes: This guide explains the minimum standards established by HUD for PIT counts and is intended to help CoCs choose and implement methodologies for conducting sheltered and unsheltered PIT counts. CoCs should consider their individual characteristics and resources when using this guide to select an appropriate methodology or methodologies. The guide also provides information on planning and executing successful sheltered and unsheltered PIT counts and offers advice on how to clean and analyze PIT count data for submission to HUD.

The 2014 annual homeless assessment report (AHAR) to Congress
Format: Report: PDF – 68 Pages, 2014
Source: HUD Office of Community Planning & Development
Available online:
Notes: HUD releases the AHAR to Congress and part 1 has the point-in-time estimates of homelessness, including a section on unaccompanied children and youth. The estimate of homeless youth in Texas in this report for 2014 is 2210 youth on one night in January, 2014.

Training and preparation for youth counts: Involving youth, universities and volunteers

Format: Webinar: PDF – 34 pages, 2009
Source: Connery, P. at Applied Survey Research for the DC Alliance of Youth Advocates & FYSB
Available online:

Notes: Young people from runaway and homeless youth services and local institutions of higher education have played important roles as contributors to planning and implementing youth homeless counts. They can be tremendous assets for this kind of effort. At the same time, they require well-organized training and support to ensure their safe and effective participation. This webinar addresses common issues, including recruitment, selection, safety, training, and payment of young people in local services and institutions of higher education to support more effective youth counts.

True colors fund

Format: Website: 2015
Source: The True Colors Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
Available online:
Notes: The True Colors Tund is working to end homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth, creating a world in which young people can be their true selves.Considering that LGBT youth represent an estimated 7% of the total youth population, these numbers are disproportionately high. While even a single young person without a home is one too many, the disparity of LGBT youth experiencing homelessness is unfathomable.

Voices of experience: Improving mental health supports for homeless & transitioning youth

Format: Booklet: PDF – 52 pages, 2011
Source: Gendron, C.; Texas Network of Youth Services, Austin, Tx.
Available online:

Notes: This report details a youth participatory action project in which a team of youth experiencing    homelessness in Texas cities interviewed 135 homeless peers about their needs, mental health, and the transition to adulthood.

We count, California: Lessons learned from efforts to improve youth inclusion in California’s 2015 point-in-time counts

Format: Report: PDF – 79 Pages, 2015
Source: Lin, Petry, Hyatt, & Auerswald; CA Homeless Youth Project or the CA State Library
Available online:
Notes: Report on findings suggest that communities participating in We Count, California! Increased their technical knowledge regarding counting youth and building the collaborations necessary to successfully meet this challenge, ensuring a successful count by involving youth at every stage of planning and conducting the count, begin planning early, and engage multiple sectors and opinion leaders in the process.

Youth engagement toolkit resource guide

Format: Booklet: PDF – 70 pages, 2013
Source: British Columbia Ministry of Children & Family Development & The University of Victoria School of Child & Youthcare
Available online:
Notes: The Resource Guide provides in-depth information about youth engagement, as well as practical   strategies for engaging youth. It is a great resource for anyone interested in learning more about youth engagement. The Resource Guide can be used on its own even if you’re not using the full Toolkit.

Urban Institute process study

Format: Booklet: PDF – 134 pages, 2013
Source: Pergamit, M., Cunningham, M., Burt, M., Lee, P., Howell, B., & Bertumen, K.; Urban Institute, Washington, DC.
Available online:
Notes: The Urban Institute conducted a process evaluation of the initiative to identify promising practices that could be adapted and taken to scale to produce credible and useful data nationwide. Nine communities participated in the initiative by expanding their annual homeless point-in-time efforts to increase coverage of homeless youth.