Toward a System Response to Ending Youth Homelessness: New Evidence to Help Communities Strengthen Coordinated Entry, Assessment, and Support for Youth
This is the sixth in a series of Research-to-Impact briefs by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago on understanding and addressing youth homelessness. In collaboration with the University of Southern California and Youth Collaboratory, Chapin Hall published this brief about how communities use a common risk assessment and prioritization tool for youth experiencing homelessness (the TAY-VI-SPDAT: Next Step Tool). The authors found that a common risk assessment tool for youth can effectively help local systems prioritize limited housing resources. They also found positive outcomes associated with housing programs for youth. Youth of color were more likely to come into homelessness system and remained in homelessness systems for longer periods, tending to have fewer successful exits from homelessness by returning to their families. These findings highlight further opportunities for systems to focis on racial equite in addressing the homelessness challenge. The lessons from this analysis bolster the idea that communities can build collective intake and assessment (coordinated entry) systems, develop creative service delivery approaches for youth who do not immediately receive housing, and strengthen data to measure and improve long-term outcomes. The study also looked at how risk assessment scores related to services offered to young people and to their exits from homelessness. Finally, they examined how many youth receiving different types of services remained out of homelessness systems and which youth were most likely to return. This brief summarizes key findings and implications for action for communities and funders.