Established in 1974 as the result of the dedication and hard work of community activists, the National Network for Youth is the nation’s leading network of young leaders and youth homelessness providers. We have collected significant milestones from the past 50 years in the ongoing fight to prevent and end youth homelessness. To learn more about our journey, read our statement on our 50 years of impact.

1974
Founded as the National Network of Runaway and Youth Services at a meeting in Ligonier, PA.
A group photo of individuals who founded NN4Y
1974
Runaway Youth Act as Title III of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act was Enacted. The legislation established Basic Center Programs.

Learn more about Basic Center Programs.

1975
A Steering Council was created that defined policy priorities at a meeting in Indianapolis.
1975
The Network News publication began to be published.
A collage of images from the Network News
1975
NN4Y testified at the Oversight Hearing on the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act.
NN4Y testified at the Oversight Hearing on the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act.
1976
Congress overrides President Ford’s veto of the Runaway Youth Act appropriation due to NN4Y advocacy.
A black and white photo of President Ford behind his desk signing legislation.
1977
NN4Y hired a paid Executive Director and staff for the national office in Washington, DC.
NN4Y hired a paid Executive Director and staff for the national office in Washington, DC.
1977
Congress reauthorizes the Runaway Youth Act and broadens the scope beyond “runaway youth” to include “otherwise homeless youth.”
1978
NN4Y published a study of prevention services. NN4Y membership grew to 178.
1986
Launched YouthNet Telecommunications Cooperative, a telecommunications system enabling information exchange among organizations 24/7.
Launched YouthNet Telecommunications Cooperative, a telecommunications system enabling information exchange among organizations 24/7.
1988
RHYA was reauthorized and the Transitional Living Program was added.
1990
Guiding principles and policy statements were established.
Guiding principles and policy statements were established.