In addition to grant programs and research relevant to homelessness, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) also funds several resource centers and activities that provide valuable information for consumers, providers, and policymakers. Several HHS Operating Divisions also have web pages with agency-specific information related to homelessness.
- Resources for Persons Experiencing Homelessness
- Resources for Policymakers and Providers
- HHS Operating Division Resources
- Federal Links Relevant to Homelessness
Resources for Persons Experiencing Homelessness:
- Public Service Announcements for the National Runaway Safeline
These television public service announcements (PSAs) share a message from formerly homeless youth that “help is available.” The PSAs, available in both 30-second and 60-second formats, feature four young people served by grantees of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Program. The PSAs provide information for other youth in similar situations to contact the National Runaway Safeline; help is available 24/7 at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929) or via email or live chat.
- Homelessness Resource Center
SAMHSA’s Homeless Resource Center (HRC) is an interactive learning community dedicated to disseminating knowledge and best practices to help prevent and end homelessness, and to increase access to and improve delivery of behavioral health services. The learning community includes providers, consumers, policymakers, researchers, and public agencies at federal, State, and local levels. The HRC website is part of the Homeless Resource Network (HRN), a collaboration to share a common digital library of over 9,000 resources related to homelessness and behavioral health. It provides access to several multimedia tools, including training videos; online learning modules; and archived webcasts.
- National Runaway Safeline
The mission of the National Runaway Safeline (NRS) is to help keep America’s runaway, homeless and at-risk youth safe and off the streets. NRS provides education and solution-focused interventions, offers non-sectarian, non-judgmental support, respects confidentiality, collaborates with volunteers, and responds to at-risk youth and their families 24 hours a day through phone, email, and live chat.
- Locate a Runaway and Homeless Youth Program
Locate the nearest Family and Youth Services Bureau-funded emergency shelter, transitional living program or street outreach program for runaway or homeless youth.
- Locate a Health Center
Locate the nearest Community Health Center, including Health Care for the Homeless Programs.
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
National Human Trafficking Resource Center: 1-888-373-7888
Or text “HELP” or “INFO” to BeFree (233733)
Resources for Policymakers and Providers:
- Health Coverage for Homeless and At-Risk Youth
This fact sheet explores eligibility for health care coverage, including through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), for youth experiencing or at risk of homelessness. You’ll find information on subpopulations of youth who are likely to be eligible for health care coverage, which services are covered, and how to enroll. You’ll also find Medicaid and CHIP income eligibility levels for each state.
- Screening and Assessment Tools for Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs
This list includes screening and assessment tools providers can use to decide what types of interventions and services each young person in their care needs. Screening involves brief instruments that check for things like traumatic stress and mental health problems, and can identify certain youth who need more thorough diagnostic evaluations and treatment. Assessment involves evaluating multiple aspects of social, emotional, and behavioral competencies and functioning in order to inform service planning and monitor progress toward better outcomes. Featured tools include those that are appropriate for use across various federal programs for youth and young adults generally between the ages of 12 and 24 and that are low cost or in the public domain.
- U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness
The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) is to coordinate the Federal response to homelessness and to create a national partnership at every level of government and with the private sector to reduce and end homelessness in the nation while maximizing the effectiveness of the Federal Government in contributing to the end of homelessness.
- A Primer on Using Medicaid for People Experiencing Chronic Homelessness and Tenants in Permanent Supportive Housing
This report provides a "how-to" guide on the various ways that Medicaid can cover services for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness, including the Medicaid authorities and new options provided under the Affordable Care Act.
- Interactive Homelessness Lessons for Head Start
These lessons on homelessness will give Head Start, Early Head Start, and Migrant and Seasonal programs information about serving families who are experiencing homelessness. The lessons will give program staff opportunities to: apply the McKinney-Vento definition of homelessness; determine children's eligibility and/or their prioritization for Head Start, Early Head Start, or Migrant and Seasonal Head Start programs; pinpoint strategies for outreach and identification of children and families experiencing homelessness; apply strategies that enhance enrollment; evaluate positive options for working with families; and identify ways to work with community partners. Each lesson contains information you can use to complete lesson activities and use for future reference.
- Potential Analyses with Homelessness Data: Ideas for Policymakers and Researchers
This document summarizes ideas for data analysis that would help answer questions of interest to policymakers and researchers. An HHS-funded study found that thirty states currently collect information on homelessness or risk factors for homelessness from applicants for TANF or Medicaid. Abt Associates, under contract to HHS, developed ideas for potential uses of this information for policymakers (especially at the state level) and researchers.
- Housing Status Assessment Guide for State TANF and Medicaid Programs
This Guide is intended to provide recommendations on a set of standardized housing status and homelessness risk questions that could be incorporated into state applications for TANF and/or Medicaid. The taxonomy of questions presented in this Guide is provided solely as a resource for states interested in modifying current application questions and to promote coordination between mainstream social service programs and housing and homelessness assistance providers. It is important to note that modifying current application and data collection procedures is not intended to be a requirement for states interested in using this Guide.
- Inventory of Federal Programs That May Assist Homeless Families with Children (PDF - 764 KB)
This inventory catalogues Federal programs that may assist homeless families with children. The inventory was developed by the Senior Policy Group of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness to provide a current picture of existing federal initiatives, help identify gaps or overlaps in services that may exist across programs, and offer new avenues for program collaboration. Seventy-three programs operated by 11 federal agencies are highlighted in the inventory.
- Homeless Policy Academies
Between 2001 and 2007, HHS, in partnership with HUD, VA, DOL, ED, and the USICH supported a series of nine Homeless Policy Academies. The Homeless Policy Academies were designed to help State and local policymakers improve access to mainstream services for people who are homeless.
Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness (U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness)
Opening Doors is the nation’s first comprehensive strategy to prevent and end homelessness. Opening Doors serves as a roadmap for joint action by the 19 USICH member agencies, including HHS, along with local and state partners in the public and private sectors. In September 2012, USICH released an Amendment to Opening Doors, which was developed to specifically address what strategies and supports should be implemented to improve the educational outcomes for children and youth, and the steps that need to be taken to assist unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness.
- Guidance to States and Services on Addressing Human Trafficking of Children and Youth in the United States (Administration for Children and Families)
This guidance to states and service programs was designed to build greater awareness and better response to the problem of child trafficking within the child welfare and runaway and homeless youth service systems. This guidance focuses on emerging knowledge and practices that systems and services can consider integrating into existing activities.
SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) Technical Assistance
Funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), this national project is designed to increase access to the disability income benefit programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) for eligible adults who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and have a mental illness and/or a co-occurring substance use disorder.
National Clearinghouse on Families & Youth
The Family and Youth Services Bureau’s (FYSB’s) National Clearinghouse on Families & Youth educates the family and youth work field—including FYSB grantees and aspiring grantees—about the research and effective practices that can improve the long-term social and emotional wellbeing of families and youth. From sustainability to evidence-based practice to trauma-informed care, NCFY publishes more than 250 articles, podcasts and videos a year about research and innovative work going on in the field.
Expanding ECE for Homeless Children
This webpage contains information on efforts by the Office of Early Childhood Development to expand early care and education services for children experiencing homelessness. Resources include information on policies, procedures, and strategies to increase access to services for children experiencing homelessness, a resource list, an issue brief on early care and education for young children experiencing homelessness, a developmental screening guide for housing service providers, webinars, and blog posts. These resources will help policymakers and program directors improve access to services for young children experiencing homelessness.
Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States 2013-2017 (Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons)
The first Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States lays out a 5-year path for further strengthening coordination, collaboration, and capacity across governmental and nongovernmental entities dedicated to providing support to the victims of human trafficking. The Department of Health and Human Services co-chaired the planning process for this Plan, which highlights the importance of coordinating with runaway and homeless youth programs.
Data Warehouse on Primary Health Care
The Health Resources and Service Administration’s Data Warehouse provides a snapshot of HRSA's performance, statistics, trends, reports, and activities by programmatic topic. It offers information and assistance about HRSA's mapping features and the applications to assist users in creating a map of their neighborhood or potential service area.
- Report to Congress on Promising Strategies to End Youth Homelessness (Administration for Children and Families)
The Report to Congress on Promising Strategies to End Youth Homelessness concludes that building stable and nurturing families is the most effective way to prevent youth homelessness. Increasing positive parenting skills, as well as connecting youth and their families to community resources, can help parents and caregivers manage issues that have the potential to unravel families. When those efforts don’t work, young people need permanent connections with other stable adults and comprehensive support services to transitional successfully to adulthood.
National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence: Final Report (Department of Justice)
This report from the Attorney General’s National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence provides a comprehensive roadmap for preventing violence and for helping children and youth to heal and recover when it happens. The report makes a host of recommendations that would help identify these young people soon after their exposure and give them specialized services, evidence-based treatment and proper care and support.
HHS Operating Division Resources:
- Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, an agency in the Department of Health and Human Services, has established a clear vision for its work—a life in the community for everyone. To realize this vision, the Agency has sharply focused its mission on building resilience and facilitating recovery for people with or at risk for mental or substance use disorders.
- Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging
The Administration on Aging, an agency in the Department of Health and Human Services, is one of the nation's largest providers of home- and community-based care for older persons and their caregivers. Their mission is to develop a comprehensive, coordinated and cost-effective system of long-term care that helps elderly individuals to maintain their dignity in their homes and communities, as well as to help society prepare for an aging population.
- Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, an agency in the Department of Health and Human Services, has as its mission to ensure effective, up-to-date health care coverage and to promote quality care for beneficiaries.
- Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency in the Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary federal agency for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable. HRSA manages the Health Center Program, which funds a national network of more than 4,000 clinics comprised of community health centers, migrant health centers, health care for the homeless centers, and public housing primary care centers. Health centers for the homeless focus on delivering preventive and primary health care to people who are homeless, but homeless people may seek free or low-cost care at any health center site.
- Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) promotes the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals, and communities. It operates a number of targeted and mainstream programs meeting the needs of homeless and at-risk families, children, and youth.
- Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children & Families, Family & Youth Services Bureau The Family & Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) administers the Runaway and Homeless Youth Program—the only Federal funding stream dedicated to serving runaway, homeless and street youth up to age 22. The Runaway and Homeless Youth Program was authorized by Congress 40 years ago to keep young people from being homeless—whether by providing preventive services or rapid, effective re-housing and case management once youth are on the streets.