Runaway and Homeless Youth

Each year, thousands of U.S. youth run away from home, are asked to leave their homes or become homeless. Through the Runaway and Homeless Youth Program (RHY), FYSB supports street outreach, emergency shelters and longer-term transitional living and maternity group home programs to serve and protect these young people.

Read More About RHY

Programs

Street Outreach Program

Teenagers standing

Through the Street Outreach Program (SOP), FYSB supports work with homeless, runaway and street youth to help them find stable housing and services. SOPs focus on developing relationships between outreach workers and young people that allow them to rebuild connections with caring adults. The ultimate goal is to prevent the sexual exploitation and abuse of youth on the streets.

Street outreach services include:

  • Street based education and outreach
  • Access to emergency shelter
  • Survival aid
  • Treatment and counseling
  • Crisis intervention
  • Follow-up support

For more information, please see the Street Outreach Fact Sheet and Youth Profile. To find SOP grantees, please visit the FYSB map.

Basic Center Program

Diverse teenage children

The Basic Center Program (BCP) helps create and strengthen community-based programs that meet the immediate needs of runaway and homeless youth under 18 years old. In addition, BCP tries to reunite young people with their families or locate appropriate alternative placements.

BCP provides the following services:   

  • Up to 21 days of shelter
  • Food, clothing and medical care
  • Individual, group and family counseling
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Recreation programs
  • Aftercare services for youth after they leave the shelter

Please see the Basic Center Program Fact Sheet  and Youth Profile for more details. To find BCP grantees, please visit the FYSB map.

Transitional Living Program

Three young people talking

Our Transitional Living Program (TLP) for Older Homeless Youth supports projects that provide long-term residential services to homeless youth. Young people must be between the ages of 16 and 22 to enter the program.

Living accommodations may include:

  • Host-family homes
  • Group homes or maternity group homes
  • Supervised apartments owned by the program or rented in the community

TLPs offer or refer for the following services:

  • Safe, stable living accommodations
  • Basic life skills building, including consumer education, budgeting, housekeeping, food preparation and parenting skills
  • Educational opportunities, such as GED preparation, post-secondary training and vocational education
  • Job attainment services, such as career counseling and job placement
  • Mental health care, including individual and group counseling
  • Physical health care, such as physicals, health assessments and emergency treatment

For more information, please see the Transitional Living Program Fact Sheet and Youth Profile. To find TLP grantees, please visit the FYSB map.

Maternity Group Homes for Pregnant and Parenting Youth

African American mother and child

The Maternity Group Homes for Pregnant and Parenting Youth (MGH) Program supports homeless pregnant and/or parenting young people, as well as their dependent children. Youth must be between the ages of 16 and 22 to enter the program.

In addition to standard TLP services, MGH programs offer an array of comprehensive services to teach:

  • Parenting skills
  • Child development
  • Family budgeting
  • Health and nutrition

MGH projects incorporate the principles of Positive Youth Development and administer services such as:

  • Child-safe transitional and independent living accommodations
  • Education in parenting, child discipline and safety
  • Mental, physical, and reproductive health care
  • Resources to help youth identify reliable, affordable child care
  • Money management and use of credit
  • Educational opportunities, such as GED preparation, post-secondary training and vocational education

For more information, please see the  MGH Program Fact Sheet (PDF — 256.65 KB)  To find MGH grantees, please visit the FYSB map.

National Runaway Safeline

National Runaway Safeline, here to listen, here to help

The National Runaway Safeline Visit disclaimer page  offers a crisis hotline and online services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to youth at risk of running away, those who have run away or are homeless, and their families. NRS helps in the following ways:

  • Crisis Intervention: Front line staff and volunteers are trained to use a solution-based crisis intervention model.
  • Information and Referrals: NRS locates local resources and makes appropriate referrals to meet each caller’s needs.
  • Three-Way Conference Calls: NRS initiates calls between youth and their parents or guardians, staying on the line to mediate the discussion. NRS also initiates calls between youth and social service protection agencies, and between adults and organizations that can help resolve their problems.
  • Message Relay: When youth and their parents or guardians are not yet ready for one-on-one interactions, they may take the first step toward reconnecting with each other by leaving messages with NRS.
  • Free Trip Home: NRS has a partnership with Greyhound Bus Lines to be able to offer runaway and homeless youth a free bus ticket home.
  • Advocacy: The NRS front line team advocates for youth and ensures they get support and guidance from authorities, school administrators, social service agencies, and medical and legal professionals.

CALL: 1-800-RUNAWAY
CLICK: 1800RUNAWAY.org Visit disclaimer page visit disclaimer page Visit disclaimer page
TEXT: 66008

National Clearinghouse on Homeless Youth and Families

The National Clearinghouse on Homeless Youth and Families (NCHYF) is a free information service of the Family and Youth Services Bureau. Its purpose is to educate the family and youth services field—including FYSB grantees and aspiring grantees—about the research and effective practices that can improve the long-term well-being of families and youth.

Get more information:

If you’re looking for advice on how to get your own ideas off the ground, try the tutorial videos, Start a Youth Program Visit disclaimer page .

Runaway and Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center

The Runaway and Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center Visit disclaimer page  (RHYTTAC) assists FYSB grantee agencies in:

  • developing new approaches to serving runaway and homeless youth
  • accessing new resources
  • establishing linkages with other grantees with similar interests and concerns

Through the center, FYSB tracks trends in youth and family issues, identifies and shares best practices, sponsors conferences and workshops, and provides direct T/TA.

News

Working Together to Connect Pregnant and Parenting Youth Experiencing Homelessness with Early Head Start

July 15, 2020

Pregnant moms, babies, and toddlers without permanent homes have unique needs. They often face barriers to early childhood and child care programs. In 2020, FYSB and the Office of Hear Start are promoting collaboration between Runaway and Homeless Youth and Early Head Start grantees to provide support to pregnant and parenting youth and their young children to enroll in and remain in Head Start programs. 

Related Resources

FY 2020 Coronavirus Supplemental Funding Guidance: ACF Reporting Requirement for the FYSB Runaway and Homeless Youth Program

May 11, 2020

The FY 2020 Coronavirus Supplemental Funding provides one-time funding to support ACF recipients/grantees funded under the CARES Act in preventing, preparing for, and responding to COVID-19. This information sheet provides guidance on reporting required of grantees as recipients of this funding.  

Read FY 2020 Coronavirus Supplemental Funding Guidance: ACF Reporting Requirement for the FYSB Runaway and Homeless Youth Program

FY 2020 Coronavirus Supplemental Funding: Examples of Allowable Uses of Funds for the FYSB Runaway and Homeless Youth Program

May 11, 2020

This brief document provides guidance for RHY-funded grantees that includes a list of activities and examples of purchases that may support efforts to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. 

Read FY 2020 Coronavirus Supplemental Funding: Examples of Allowable Uses of Funds for the FYSB Runaway and Homeless Youth Program

COVID-19: FAQs for Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) Program Grantees

May 4, 2020

Based on the administrative relief guidance provided by OMB and ACF for recipients and applicants of federal financial assistance directly impacted by COVID-19, FYSB developed these FAQs for Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) grantees seeking additional information on flexibilities available specific to the administration of grants funded under the RHY program. 

Read COVID-19: FAQs for Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) Program Grantees

Runaway and Homeless Youth Program Fact Sheet

May 11, 2018

This fact sheet provides information about the Family and Youth Services Bureau's Runaway and Homeless Youth Program.

Read Runaway and Homeless Youth Program Fact Sheet

Bought and Sold: Recognizing and Assisting Youth Victims of Domestic Sex Trafficking

February 10, 2017

Learn how young people are exploited and trafficked, and how youth and family services providers can help them.

Read Bought and Sold: Recognizing and Assisting Youth Victims of Domestic Sex Trafficking

New Foster Care Provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act

December 8, 2016

The Department of Education recently issued a letter that addresses the new foster care provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which go into effect on December 10, 2016.

Read New Foster Care Provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act

Department of Education RHY Collaborations

August 25, 2016

The Department of Education collaborates with FYSB's Runaway and Homeless Youth Program to create opportunities for young people.

Read Department of Education RHY Collaborations