Mayor Muriel Bowser announces Solid Foundations DC, the Interagency Council on Homelessness Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Youth Homelessness.
Solid Foundations DC is the city’s first ever data-driven plan focused on the needs of unaccompanied youth.
The plan will serve as a roadmap for building an effective system of care for unaccompanied youth experiencing or at risk of homelessness, with the goal of ending youth homelessness by 2022.
The Mayor was joined at the announcement by Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services HyeSook Chung and Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH) Director Kristy Greenwalt.
“Ending homelessness in Washington, DC has been a top priority of mine from day one,” said Mayor Bowser. “The health, safety, and long-term success of our youth will have an impact on our entire community, and our DC values require that we continue finding ways to make homelessness in DC rare, brief, and non-recurring. By working together, we can build integrated systems that provide the support our young people need to stay healthy and succeed in school and life.”
Solid Foundations DC provides a framework for advancing intensive and coordinated work to prevent and end homelessness among youth by:
· providing essential definitions and key context on youth homelessness, including specific metrics to gauge problems and success;
· detailing what is known about the causes and costs of youth homelessness in DC, and how trends in the District compare to trends across the nation;
· explaining the results of data modeling completed as a planning tool to help estimate the types and number of interventions needed to meet the needs of young people experiencing homeless each year; and
· identifying key strategies needed to take existing programing in the community to the next level and build an effective systems approach for vulnerable youth.
Washington, DC is one of the first cities in the country to have a data-driven plan focused on ending youth homelessness. Young people experiencing homelessness are particularly vulnerable to trauma, have historically remained more hidden to the public eye, and are more reluctant to seek help. To create the best possible youth-specific strategy, in 2015 the ICH and other youth-serving agencies teamed up with nonprofit partners and community providers to initiate an annual census of unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness. While still difficult to estimate the incidence of youth homelessness on a national level, the idea of a youth census is an emerging best practice at the local level. The two years of youth census data collected provided a strong foundation for Solid Foundations DC.
The full plan will be released on Monday, May 22, and will be available on https://ich.dc.gov