Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project in MD
Youth REACH Prince George’s – Count of Unaccompanied Homeless Youth/Young Adults
What Is Youth REACH MD?
Youth REACH MD (Reach out, Engage, Assist, & Count to end Homelessness) is an effort to obtain accurate, detailed information on the number, characteristics, and needs of unaccompanied homeless youth in Maryland.
Legislation and Demonstration Project
Prince George’s County is one of 6 local Continuums of Care (CoC) participating the Youth REACH MD demonstration pilot to count unaccompanied homeless youth and young adults in Maryland. The other CoCs include Annapolis/Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Hagerstown/Washington County, and Somerset/Wicomico/Worcester counties.
The project was established during the 2014 legislative session by the Maryland General Assembly under Chapter 425 of House Bill 794, which identified the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) as the lead government agency overseeing the Demonstration Project.
A Steering Committee comprised of individuals representing the General Assembly, government agencies, local Continuums of Care (CoCs), and other key organizations was formed to guide the activities of the Demonstration. DHCD contracted with The Institute for Innovation & Implementation, University of Maryland School of Social Work (The Institute) to serve as the Coordinating Entity, managing the primary activities of the Demonstration Projection. Under the guidance of the Steering Committee, the Institute will coordinate with the CoCs named in the legislation, which will serve as the implementing bodies for Maryland’s upcoming Demonstration Youth Count.
Definition of “unaccompanied homeless youth”
For Youth REACH Maryland, it defines an “unaccompanied homeless youth” as a person who is:
- Young people under the age of 25 who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence and are not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian
– Homeless primarily due to family dysfunction and abuse, including rejection due to sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, or disability; exiting the foster care or juvenile justice systems without skills or resources needed to live independently; and/or economic hardship
– UHYYA may “double up” or “couch surf” with friends, family, or strangers, or live on the streets or in other places not meant for human habitation, such as cars or abandoned buildings. They are at disproportionately high risk of mental, physical, and behavioral health problems; school dropout; suicide; crime victimization; sexual exploitation; unplanned pregnancy; unemployment; and delinquency. Read more….
Take the Youth REACH MD Survey.
Visit the demonstration project's website to learn more.