Too many young people in the District of Columbia experience homelessness without a parent or guardian — and go to sleep without the safety, stability and support of a family or a home. And, now the pandemic has further complicated their path to stability.
Who We Are
The Youth Economic Justice and Housing Coalition works to prevent and eradicate youth and family homelessness in the District of Columbia. We advocate for funding, policies, and programs that prevent youth homelessness and improve the outcomes and experiences of youth experiencing homelessness from birth to early adulthood.
Fighting for a system with equity at its core
We will be successful when we lead with our values, stand in our convictions, and engage in innovative strategies. We envision DC as a city where equity is centered in all systems that affect youth and families impacted by homelessness.
Ending Youth Homelessness
We believe in investing in systems and programs that disrupt the cycle of homelessness for children and youth, whether they are accompanied by family or experiencing homelessness on their own.
We believe that structural racism is at the root of disparities facing Black and Brown families in the District. Creating equitable and antiracist policies and systems is central to the coalition’s work.
We believe that racist systems and policies, and systems tailored to create an underclass have historically–and continue to–create barriers to economic mobility. It is necessary to remove obstacles and dismantle oppressive systems in order to end the cycle of homelessness and provide opportunities for economic advancement.
We believe in the power of many different voices. We strengthen our work by including racial, economic, gender, generational, experiential, and professional diversity in our coalition.
We believe that people closest to the pain should be closest to the power, and should be instrumental in informing and driving the work.
We believe we are all experts in our own areas. We honor and build on the strengths, knowledge, and skills of our communities.
Contact Rachel White, Senior Youth Policy Analyst at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
We need a multi-faceted approach to addressing youth homelessness. One of the solutions–improved mental health support–is highlighted here, but it must be advanced with other efforts, like targeted workforce support and greater access to housing.
This brief discusses the state of youth experiencing homelessness in the District and offers policy solutions.
Here’s our understanding of the Mayor’s proposed budget and our recommendations to the Council. Include items most relevant to you or your organization in your testimony. Check out our guide to testifying here
"Our priorities center around providing stable, high-quality services, filling system gaps by investing in workforce development opportunities and behavioral health services for youth experiencing homelessness."
The District’s FY22 Budget closes out with mixed results for youth experiencing homelessness. Due to our collective advocacy, the DC Council found funds to restore nearly $307,000 in cuts to shelter and emergency services, rapid rehousing, and extended transitional housing--all essential services that get and keep young people off the streets.
How then might we build on previous efforts to meet the needs of working families? One idea that some are considering is some form of guaranteed income. This provides direct cash payments to families, similar to one limited component of the American Rescue Plan passed in March. Because of the way federally funded social programs are regulated, however, increased income would make families ineligible for other benefits. As we explore options for supporting working families, we must ensure that potential solutions don’t result in a loss of benefits for working people. Our goal should be to move beyond the promises of a threadbare social safety net, to consider what all families need to build and enjoy the life they want and deserve.
Our city — our entire society — has reached a decision point. As we begin to emerge from the worst public health crisis in a century and we grapple with the undeniable epidemic of racial injustice, we must choose how to move forward. Our children cannot afford for us to return to “normal.”
2021 Policy Snapshot Housing Insecurity: An Eviction Pandemic
District policymakers must do everything possible to use both federal funds to ensure that all families who need support to ensure stable housing are able to keep a roof over their children's heads.
"While much progress has been made, we still have a long way to go to ensure all our young people have safe housing and the support they need to make the successful transition to adulthood. Today we are writing to share our FY22 budget priorities, priorities we know will further our shared vision of a city where no young person lacks a safe and stable place to call home."