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Youth Villages supports A Way Home America

June 8, 2016

Groups joining together to end youth homelessness

A Way Home America, a new national initiative to build a movement to prevent and end homelessness among young people, launching this month.

Youth Villages’ YVLifeSet program is one of the country’s largest helping former foster youth – a group that is statistically more likely to experience homelessness and housing insecurity.

“Youth Villages is pleased to be part of the effort to end youth homelessness,” said Amanda Rivera, manager of federal policy for Youth Villages. “We know that effective help for young people makes a difference.”

awayhomeThe launch of A Way Home America corresponds with the White House Policy Briefing on Ending Youth Homelessness co-hosted by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness and the True Colors Fund. More than 50 different organizations addressing youth homelessness are involved in A Way Home America, including the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, which leads the coordinated federal response to homelessness, and its member agencies.

Results from an MDRC randomized controlled trial of the YVLifeSet program released last year showed that participants experienced a 22 percent decrease in the likelihood of experiencing homelessness.

“The program’s effect on homelessness is a huge deal, particularly because it’s not a housing program,” said Mark Courtney, Ph.D., recently at a Capitol Hill forum focusing on effective programs for transition-age youth. A professor in the School of Social Services Administration at the University of Chicago, Courtney was the principal investigator in the MDRC study and in the Midwest Study, one of the largest research projects involving former foster youth.

Although program participants did see increased earnings and economic wellbeing, Courtney said the housing outcomes “most likely came from helping the young people do whatever they needed to do, whatever it took to avoid homelessness.”

A Way Home America’s efforts build on “Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness.”

For more information on AWHA, visit awayhomeamerica.org. More information on the Youth Villages program is at yvlifeset.org.

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