- Youth Housing First programs need to be based on the developmental and other unique needs of youth, such as lack of education, employment, or life skills.
- Youth do not experience homelessness like adults. They are more likely to “couch surf,” staying with friends and family than entering into shelters, so they do not meet the traditional definition of “chronically homeless.”
- LGBTQ-specific programs need to consider how identities affect people’s experiences and need to gain knowledge on how to best support people based on these unique experiences.
- Lack of affordable housing options or access may prevent youth from quickly stabilizing in housing.
- Programs must develop/maintain positive relationships with landlords, teach youth life skills around tenancy and housing rights and responsibilities while acting as a bridge between the two. Landlords may be hesitant to rent to young people, especially if they have no income or rental history and youth may lack experience with obtaining/maintaining housing or developing relationships with landlords.
- There is a need for more employment options for youth. Many youth lack the education and experience to find employment, they also may face some challenges as an LGBTQ young person, and obtaining and maintaining employment may be difficult if they are struggling with mental health and/or substance use issues.
- Youth do best with a range of housing options. Some flourish in independent settings, others need more supportive or group settings to succeed. Housing First should be one option within a continuum.