The needs and wants of each young person who is experiencing homelessness differ greatly. In aggregate, those needs and wants also differ across the country. In some cities, there may be a relatively large amount of shelter space for young people, but significant gaps in access to physical and mental health care; in other cities there may be a more robust system of care, but a higher likelihood of justice system involvement. Providers must respond to both the individual needs of young people and the systemic gaps they have identified locally.
Programs across the country have responded to this challenge with remarkable ingenuity. In this section, we highlight just a few of the programs that are meeting the particular needs of the individuals in their communities using approaches that respond to the contexts presented by the local landscape of services and supports. While all of these programs may not be appropriate in your area, many of them include pieces that are replicable and can serve as models for providers who are looking to introduce or expand services.