Ending youth homelessness requires that we make it rare, brief, and one-time.
In the third of three policy briefs to explore solutions that will end youth homelessness, this document focuses on what it takes to ensure that young people sustain their housing for good.
What drives youth homelessness, and what keeps a young person stably housed long-term? Based on evidence and nearly 40 years of experience, Larkin Street Youth Services knows that housing alone is not enough to ensure youth do not return to homelessness.
We must invest in affordable housing, living wages, education opportunities, and emotional and physical health and well-being. We must ensure that our policies and practices are anti-racist and inclusive, and we must uplift the voices of young people to advise and lead us in our work.
We know that coordinated, sector-wide efforts make a difference when fueled by sound policies and strategic investment. We applaud the historic investments in youth homelessness at the local and state levels, and we maintain hope that continued progress will build on the 46% decline in San Francisco’s youth homelessness count between 2013 and 2022.
Together with young people, policymakers, advocates, service providers, and other stakeholders, we must continue to work toward a vision where no young person returns to homelessness in their lifetime.