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State Government Addressing Youth Homelessness

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					State Government: Addressing Youth Homelessness
Tracy D’Alanno
Colorado Department of Human Services
Supportive Housing and Homeless Programs

tracy.DAlanno@state.co.us 303-866-7361

Office of Homeless Youth Services
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History & Legislation

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Pressure by homeless youth advocates resulted in the passage of The Colorado Homeless Youth Services Act of 2002 (HB 02-1159) Legislative Intent: To create a vehicle through which services to homeless youth statewide could be improved by coordinating current services and facilitating interagency collaboration to identify gaps, remove barriers, improve access and share information.

Office of Homeless Youth Services

History & Legislation

Office originally housed under the Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment with proposed funding form U.S. Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools.  Budget cuts resulted in lack of anticipated funding and the office was in operation for just one year with a .5 position.
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Office of Homeless Youth Services

History & Legislation

In 2004, HB 04-1107 transferred the Office of Homeless Youth Services (OHYS) to the Colorado Dept. of Human Services with one full time position.  Copy of Legislation
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Office of Homeless Youth Services
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Main Objectives

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Identification and removal of obstacles to the provision of services to homeless youth; Improved quality of services provided to homeless youth; Reduction of duplication in the provision of services to homeless youth; Identification of funding resources available to serve homeless youth.

Identification of Key Stakeholders
Building relationships across disciplines and providers  Public Safety Non-profit providers  Judicial Faith based agencies  Child Welfare Alternative High  Youth Corrections Schools  Div. Alcohol and Federal Admin. For Substance Abuse Children and Families  Mental Health Services Dept. of Education  Denver Workforce Dept. of Public Health Development and Environment  Denver Police Labor and Employment  County Human Key Youth Initiatives Services

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Family Unification Program
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Success

100 Transitional Section 8 Vouchers Six providers Pilot with Child Welfare and SHHP Focus on homeless youth involved in foster care
FUP Pilot Structure
CDHS/Child Welfare Chafee Discretionary Funds SHHP/Supportive Housing and Homeless Program FUP Vouchers

Urban Peak Denver

Urban Peak Colorado Springs

Family Tree

Volunteers of America

Denver County DHS

Larimer County DHS

Development of a Planning Structure
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Success

Advisory Committee on Homeless Youth
– – – – – Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Eight State Agencies Nine Counties Two Public Schools Eight Community Providers

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Three Work Groups
– Data Collection – Mainstream Benefits Acquisition – Employment

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Coordination with State Interagency Council on Homelessness

Other Successes
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New Homeless Youth Shelter in Grand Junction Improved focus and emphasis on data collection in state and local homeless point in time surveys Mental Health Services – facilitated the expansion of free mental health services to gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered youth

Identifying Needs and Gaps in Service Delivery
1. 2. 3.

4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Strategic Planning and Data Emergency Shelter and Crisis Services Discharge Planning – Child Welfare and Youth Corrections Outreach Mainstream Benefit Acquisition Transitional and Permanent Housing Education Income Youth Development Opportunities

Challenges
Turf Issues  Difficult Population  Gaining commitment from government officials  Staff Turnover  Lack of state resources  Multi-issued problem
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Next Steps
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Advisory Committee Retreat
– Developing a Strategic Plan, including policy recommendations to facilitate the reduction or removal of gaps and barriers.

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Improved data collection – HMIS and Statewide Homeless Survey


				
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