An estimated 4.2 million youth and young adults up to age 24 experience homelessness each year in the United States, and up to 40 percent of these youth and young adults identify as LGBTQ+. Youth experiencing homelessness – particularly unaccompanied youth, LGBTQ+ youth, and youth of color – face numerous legal barriers to meeting the basic necessities of life and to accessing services. A groundbreaking new 2019 report, the State Index on Youth Homelessness, authored by Dylan Waguespack, True Colors United, and Brandy Ryan, National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, provides a scorecard of how well state laws and policies address youth homelessness. In this session, participants will learn how a multi-system approach to ending youth homelessness can open doors to homes for youth and young adults in every state. We’ll explain how advocates can make their voices heard by reviewing entry-points for advocacy and also what specific improvements advocates should pursue. Additionally, the panel will describe which specific child welfare reforms can stem the flow of LGBTQ+ young people aging out of foster care into homelessness. This session will empower advocates across the country to utilize available tools to better serve LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness.
Speakers: Currey Cook (Lambda Legal); Dylan Waguespack (True Colors United); Christina Wilson Remlin (Children's Rights)
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