NOFA Highlights HUD will select up to 25 communities to participate in the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) to develop and execute a coordinated community approach to preventing and ending youth homelessness.
8 of the 25 selected communities will be rural communities.
I.A.1] Only CoC Collaborative Applicants may apply to this NOFA [Section III.A] Applications are submitted through grants.gov, and are due by February 1, 2019 Communities represented by the CoC Collaborative Applicant must include a youth action board, the local or state public child welfare agency, and a broad array of other partners [Sections III.C.1, III.C.
3. b, and V.A] The rating and ranking criteria included in this NOFA will be used to competitively select the communities [Section V.A] The selection of the selected communities will be announced in the Spring of 2019[Section V.C] Selected Communities will:
Develop and implement a Coordinated Community Plan to prevent and end youth homelessness [Section III.C.
3. b] Apply for project funding up to an amount between $1 million and $15 million per community, based on each community’s youth population size and poverty rate, for a total demonstration amount of up to $75 million [Section II.C] Requests for funding for all project types allowed under the CoC Program to support homeless and at risk youth, as well as innovative project types that may require a waiver of CoC Program or McKinney-Vento Act requirements [Appendix A ] Request funding for a 2-year grant term that will be eligible for renewal under the CoC Program, as long as the project meets statutory CoC Program requirements [Section II.B] Receive a dedicated team of technical assistance providers to advise the development and implementation of the Coordinated Community Plan [Section II.C.
3. b] Participate in an evaluation that will inform the federal strategy for preventing and ending youth homelessness [Section I.A and VI.B.] NOFA Priority The purpose of the YHDP is to learn how communities can successfully approach the goal of preventing and ending youth homelessness by building comprehensive systems of care for young people rather than implementing individual or unconnected projects that serve this population.
In order to effectively implement a system that addresses the needs of youth experiencing homelessness, Continuums of Care (CoCs) must understand the subgroups of unaccompanied youth – including pregnant and parenting, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ), and minor age youth – experiencing homelessness and the unique challenges they face within their communities.
Additionally, CoCs must ensure that the appropriate type of housing assistance and level of services that are effective in providing safe and stable housing are available within the community and must reach out and partner with a comprehensive set of traditional and non-traditional youth homelessness stakeholders that provide youth with resources and services, advocate for them, and set policy on their behalf.
Finally, CoCs must incorporate the experiences of homeless or formerly homeless unaccompanied youth – which is vital to understanding the needs, strengths, and perspectives of the youth in the community – and incorporate those understandings into the YHDP coordinated community plan and awarded projects.
All of this will require CoCs to use innovative practices to design better projects and strong comprehensive plans to prevent and end youth homelessness.