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  • Kristin Cooper

Methods for Estimating the Prevalence and Probability of Homeless Youth

HUD may award one or up to five cooperative agreements, with the total of all awards not to exceed $2,000,000. The award floor is $400,000. Please contact Grant Management Associates for GRANT WRITING assistance. The objective of this research is to meet the requirements for youth research activities authorized under Section 345 of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act, which calls for “using the best quantitative and qualitative social science research methods available to produce estimates of the incidence and prevalence of runaway and homeless individuals who are not less than 13 years of age but are less than 26 years of age; and … that includes with such estimate an assessment of the characteristics of such individuals.” In 2019, HUD published the Voices of Youth Count (VoYC) Study (https://www.huduser.gov/portal/publications/Voices-of-Youth-Report.html) that met the basic requirements of the Act. Using a broad definition of youth homelessness, the VoYC Study offered a nationally representative estimate of homeless youth using Gallup phonebased household surveys, as well as point-in-time estimates of homeless youth based on street and shelter counts. Patterns and subpopulations of homeless youth were identified using qualitative in-depth interviews. To date, however, methods for estimating and predicting the number of homeless youth by linking administrative data from multiple sources have not been fully developed. Section 345 of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act provides for “such other information as the Secretary determines, in consultation with States, units of local government, and national nongovernmental organizations concerned with homelessness, may be useful.” HUD therefore seeks proposals for other information and methods that supplement the findings from the VoYC Study. Such additional information that can be used to produce estimates of the incidence and prevalence of homeless youth may include the integration of administrative data from local, state, and federal institutions that engage at-risk or homeless youth, such as child welfare agencies, juvenile justice and correctional systems, schools, and hospitals. Additionally, HUD seeks proposals that demonstrate how methods for estimating and predicting homeless youth can be replicated over time in multiple geographies and how they could be used to aid communities in assessing their local needs. This may include an implementation guide for communities that provides practical instructions, best practices, and recommendations for operationalizing their methods for appropriate geographies.

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