NN4Y’s Comprehensive Framework to End Youth Homelessness: The Promise and the Realities

This session provided a glimpse into the lives of formerly homeless youth as they recounted their experiences with homelessness and discussed the services that helped them the most.  The services in the comprehensive framework for homeless youth are distinct from adults and/or families. The four pillars of care for youth are:

  1. Prevention
  2. Early Intervention
  3. Longer-term Solutions
  4. Aftercare

Service providers of runaway and homeless youth highlighted how their youth programs are working with local continuums of care, and will be impacted by implementation of the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act which requires coordinated assessment and entry to homeless service programs and system-wide performance and outcome measurements. Federal policymakers discussed how they are collaborating across systems to end youth homelessness.

Panel 1: Voices of Youth

Moderator: Deborah Shore, Executive Director of Sasha Bruce YouthWork (Washington, DC) and NN4Y Board Chair


  • Steven Cherenfant, Youth Advocate and Street Outreach Expert (Washington, DC)
  • Rikea Richardson, Youth Advocate (Washington, DC)
  • Jasmine Williams, Youth Advocate (Washington, DC)

Panel 2: Service Providers for Runaway and Homeless Youth

Moderator: Darla Bardine Policy Director, NN4Y


  • Melinda Giovengo, Executive Director of YouthCare (Seattle, WA)
  • Linda Kramer, Chief Executive Officer of Daybreak (Dayton, OH)
  • Tedd Paso, Government Relations Manager at the Night Ministry (Chicago, IL)
  • Jeri Linas, Executive Director of Teen Living Programs (Chicago, IL)

Panel 3: How Federal Agencies Are Collaborating for Homeless Youth

Moderator: Melinda Giovengo, Executive Director of YouthCare (Seattle, WA) and Vice Chair of NN4Y


  • Adrienne Breidenstine, Management and Program Analyst of United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH)
  • Debbie Powell, Acting Associate Commissioner of Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB)
  • John McLaughlin, Federal Program Manager of the Neglected, Delinquent, or At-Risk Program and the McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program at United States Department of Education (ED)