2019 National Summit on Youth Homelessness
2020 Summit
2020 CHT

(subject to change)

Day One: Monday, March 2, 2020

7:00 am – 3:00 pm Registration Check-In
7:15 am – 8:45 am Member’s Only Breakfast & Strategy Session
During our forty-fifth annual membership meeting, you will learn about our ongoing work and plans for the future. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions, offer suggestions and discuss their own efforts throughout the country.
***Attendance to the breakfast is limited to NN4Y members only.
8:45 – 9:00 am Break
9:00 – 9:30 am Welcome – Melinda Giovengo, Board Chair, National Network for Youth & CEO, YouthCare

Special Remarks – Darla Bardine, Executive Director, National Network for Youth

9:30 am – 10:30 am National Youth Advisory Council Session
This interactive session with our National Youth Advisory Council provides the opportunity to learn about their work and how to effectively engage and empower young leaders to define a policy agenda and educate the public, youth service providers and policymakers as experts on youth homelessness.
10:30 – 10:45 am Break
10:45 am – 11:45 am Plenary- Federal Policy Advocacy: Making an Impact
11:45 am – 12:45 pm Lunch
12:15 pm – 1:00 pm Scholarship Award Ceremony
The SchoolHouse Connection Youth Leadership and Scholarship Program provides scholarships and mentorship to youth who have experienced homelessness to ensure their completion of a postsecondary education program.  Join us as ten outstanding high school students from across the nation receive their awards in this powerful tribute to their resilience and dedication to education.
1:00 pm – 1:15 pm Break

Afternoon of breakout sessions:

  • Introductory Practice Track: Hot topics for practitioner new to the youth homelessness field.

  • Advanced Practice Track: Hot topics for those who have been doing the work for several years.

  • Nonprofit CEO Track: Peer-to-peer learning on topics that nonprofit CEOs are grappling with.  

  • Education Practice Track: Early childhood, K-12 and higher education co-convened with SchoolHouse Connection

  Introductory Practice Track Advanced Practice Track Nonprofit CEO Track Education Practice Track
1:15 – 2:25 pm All are Welcome Here and There: LGBTQ Affirming Housing and Community Collaboration
LGBTQ+ youth are in all communities and need additional support to thrive. The presenters will share their experience in creating and living in one of the first LGBTQ+ transitional housing programs in Illinois. This session will cover how participants can evaluate their own agencies and adopt affirming policies within. Additionally, learn how to cultivate your community, collaborating with health and wellness providers, employers, potential landlords, faith communities, shelters and other systems to create spaces where all young people feel safe to access services. Workshop participants will leave with real-life examples of how to implement affirming practices in their communities.Carolyn Wahlskog, Executive Director of Housing, 360 Youth Services, Naperville, IL (she/her/hers pronouns)
August Hupp, Pride Youth Program Coordinator, Youth Services of Glenview/ Northbrook, Glenview, IL (they/them/theirs pronouns)
Effective Trauma Informed Property Management for Transition Aged Youth
Participants will explore the challenges of providing effective case management and mental health services in a permanent housing context while balancing the need to maintain real estate assets and remain compliant with local and federal housing guidelines (REAC, HQS, LITC, etc). Non profit leaders in both the housing and mental health services field will benefit from a deeper knowledge of the intersection of both fields and leave the session with strategies that can be readily implemented to improve their rates of engagement with transition aged youth (TAY) and their property management measurements.Anthony Butler, President & CEO, AIDS Interfaith Residential Services, Empire Homes of Maryland, City Steps Baltimore, MD
Alexandra Glover, Director of Youth Housing Services, MD
Jordan Devega, Young Leader, MD
Data Informed Equitable Service Delivery
Through data collection and analysis, Covenant House Alaska was able to identify areas of service delivery where youth were not having equitable outcomes within our programming. Using what we learned we were able to begin the process of making our programming more equitable. Come and learn about how we became a data driven organization and how we were able to use that data to become a more equitable service provider.Alison Kear, CEO, Covenant House Alaska
Josh Louwerse, Senior Program Officer, Covenant House Alaska
Colin Haughey, Director of Data, Covenant House Alaska
Youth Voices: A Listening Session with High School Students.
This session is a facilitated discussion with ten high school students from across the country who are recent recipients of SchoolHouse Connection’s scholarship. They will discuss the challenges that they experienced in their K-12 career, as well as the people, programs, and internal attributes that have helped them persist and achieve success.Jordyn Roark, Director of Youth Leadership and Scholarships, SHC, for youth voices
2:30 – 3:40 pm Strengthening the Village: Strategies for Stabilizing Hosting Arrangements Between Youth Facing Homelessness and Supportive Adults
Young people facing homelessness are not alone – they have mentors, neighbors, teachers, and family (chosen or otherwise) that together form their “village.” Sometimes, these supportive adults also provide housing in arrangements that range from couch hopping to longer term hosting. Interviews with hosts and youth revealed that at least some of these informal arrangements are safe, supportive, and potentially long-term. But they also encounter significant barriers to stability, rooted in both interpersonal and structural challenges. In this session, attendees will use real-life scenarios of youth and hosts to explore possible practice approaches and policy solutions to fostering permanent supportive connections.Mallory Van Meeter, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Jacqueline White, Founder and Director, CloseKnit, MN
Brenda Pritchard, HOPE Homes Specialist, HOPE 4 Youth, MN
Toward a Duty to Assist: Human Centred Design to Drive Systems Change in Youth Homelessness
Duty to Assist (DtA), a relatively new concept to North America is the idea of statutory obligation, or a legal duty, requiring local authorities to make reasonable efforts to end a person’s homelessness or stabilize their housing. Canada is adapting legislation and practice originating from Wales, in order to move us closer to preventing and ending youth homelessness. The session introduces the concept of DtA while outlining policy and practice elements and detailing how DtA can operate at a community level. It also outlines first steps to successfully adapt this model across North American jurisdictions.Chad Story, Director of Practice Innovation, A Way Home Canada, Toronto, Canada
Mary-Jane McKitterick, Community Planning Manager, A Way Home Canada, Toronto, Canada
Amanda Buchnea, Policy & Planning Coordinator, A Way Home Canada, Toronto, Canada
How to Hone Your Team’s Strengths
Do you want to hone the strength of your team to push the mission of your organization forward? During this session you will participate in an activity that you will then be able to use to help your team work to their strengths, redistribute responsibilities, and increase team collaboration. This technique works for organizations of any size.Jill Lawson McHugh, Executive Director, Palmetto Place Children & Youth Services, Columbia, SC
Community Collaborations: Education, Housing, and Supportive Services
Service providers, advocates, local government, colleges, universities, early childhood programs, public schools, and young people: When multiple agencies and individuals leave their silos and come together to work toward solutions to homelessness, amazing progress can happen. In this session, we’ll hear about several successful collaborations—how they started, bumps in the road, and how they ultimately succeeded. The featured collaborations provide housing as well as the education and supportive services youth need to maintain housing and stability over time.Jillian Sitjar, Higher Education Program Manager, SchoolHouse Connection
Renee Ensor Pope, Asst. Director for Community Services, PG County Department of Social Services, MD
Lorinda Ruiz, SchoolHouse Connection Scholar 
Rashida Crutchfield, Associate Professor, School of Social Work, California State University, Long Beach
3:40 – 3:50 pm Break
3:50 – 5:00 pm Introduction to Permanency Navigators
Permanency Navigators assist youth as they move through housing, programs and systems with the consistency they need from a supportive adult. Because Permanency Navigators are employed by the agency contracted for this project, not by any state division or single organization, they are able to walk alongside a young person throughout it all. The assistance the Permanency Navigator provides depends on the needs of the youth. They can help the youth access behavioral health, substance abuse or disability services, find the right place to live, participate in meetings with OCS, develop a permanency plan, or provide aftercare to encourage success.Dash Togi, Covenant House Alaska & NN4Y Youth Advisor
Jo-Lin Filemoni, Permanency Navigator, Covenant House Alaska
Michael Hollinger, Permanency Navigator, Covenant House Alaska
Neuro-Informed Engagement Considerations for RHY Work ** New Publication **
Our new joint publication blends theory and practice, combining science and human connection to promote the behavior change necessary for life long functioning and well-being. Presenters will discuss how we are all hard-wired to be social, explain how trauma and toxic stress impact participant engagement, and share concrete ideas to support staff in adopting effective engagement techniques. Presenters will inspire agencies to incorporate a relational framework to distinguish themselves in the field and drive contributions to the RHY population.Krysta Esquivel, MSW, YMCA San Diego, CA
Kristina Halmai-Gillan, MFT, YMCA San Diego, CA
Andrew Palomo, LCSW, Director of Community Strategies, National Network for Youth
Fundraising Strategies for Youth Service Providers
What strategies are you implementing to raise funds for your program? This session will be a facilitated discussion focused on strategies to secure government, public, and private support and how public policy advocacy can position your agency to increase funding opportunities.Christine Gendron, CEO, Texas Network of Youth Services, Austin, TX
Sparky Harlan, CEO, Bill Wilson Center, Santa Clara, CA
State Policy Advocacy to Prevent and Solve Youth Homelessness
Youth experiencing homelessness need action now to remove barriers to services, education, and employment. With Congress increasingly stalled, state legislatures can be a catalyst of quick and powerful policy change. State and local government can also be a source of funding that is not limited by federal definitions of “homelessness” or program models that are inappropriate for young people. This session will share practical strategies for successful state and local policy advocacy, including ready-to-use resources and new legal research. Panelists will discuss their challenges and successes with state policy advocacy, including efforts related to higher education, child care, minor consent, and access to vital documents. The critical role of youth themselves in leading state policy, and strategies to ensure youth leadership, also will be discussed.Chris Bicknell, Executive Director, New Beginnings, ME
Patricia Julianelle, Director of Program Advancement and Legal Affairs, SchoolHouse Connection
Ed Hinde, Executive Director, SHIP of Frederick County, MD 
Ingrid Lofgren, Homeless Youth Initiative Director, Homeless Persons Representation Project, MD 
Rashida Crutchfield, Associate Professor, School of Social Work, California State University, Long Beach
6:00 – 7:00 pm Networking Reception

Day Two: Tuesday, March 3, 2020

7:30 am – 3:00 pm Registration
8:00 am – 9:00 am Breakfast
Network with folks from your state and region
9:00 am – 12:00 pm Hill Day Meetings
In advance, Summit attendees schedule meetings with their U.S. Senate and House representatives.  At the Summit, NN4Y provides the hill day resources and time to prepare for these meetings.
9:15 am – 11:15 am World Cafe
In this “world cafe” style session, you will have the chance to rotate among tables and engage in up to six timely twenty minutes discussions with top leaders from sectors that impact youth and young adults at-risk of and experiencing homelessness. Table topics to include (more to come):

  • My Brother’s Keeper Framework to Affect Systems Change, Jordan Curry Carter, Race, Equity and Leadership at National League of Cities
  • Making the Shift- Canada’s Youth Homelessness Social Innovation Lab, Mary Jane McKitterick, Chad Story and Amanda Buchnea, A Way Home Canada
  • Vouchers for Youth- FYI, FUP & More! Ruth Ann White, National Center for Housing and Child Welfare
  • YES means Yes! – What you can do to improve youth employment outcomesOmofehintola “Fito” Akinrinade, America’s Promise Alliance
  • Local Cross-System Collaboratives on Youth Homelessness, Andrew Palomo, National Network for Youth
  • Implications of Families First Prevention Services Act for Addressing Youth Homelessness, Mary Bissell, ChildFocus
  • Supporting Young Families, Patricia Julianelle and Barbara Duffield, SchoolHouse Connection
  • Supporting Homeless College Students, Jordyn Roark and Jillian Sitjar, SchoolHouse Connection
11:15 – 11:30 am Break
11:30 am – 12:30 pm Lunch
12:15 pm – 12:30 pm Keynote – Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)
12:30 – 12:45 am Break
12:45 pm – 2:15 pm Special Programming- Human Centered Design (HCD) General Session Workshop
This session is designed to encourage new creative solutions to end youth homelessness using Human Centered Design (HCD). HCD is a creative way to design solutions to social challenges by incorporating the perspectives of the people being served by policies and services and stepping into the shoes of those most impacted. During this 90-minute interactive session, NN4Y staff will collaborate with you to envision your strategy as well as generate new ideas in the form of products, services, spaces and systems through organizational discovery and community alliance. As a participant, not only will you walk away with newly generated ideas through inspiration, ideation and implementation, you will also learn about Human Centered Design and Equity Centered Design techniques to bring back home to your organizations and communities.
2:15 pm – 2:30 pm Break
2:30 pm – 4:30 pm Federal Agency Roundtable Discussion
Federal agency staff from six different federal agencies will discuss new and ongoing national initiatives to prevent and respond to youth and young adult homelessness. This annual facilitated discussion will produce at least one commitment for the coming year from each participating agency to support young people experiencing homelessness. Summit attendees will also have the opportunity to ask questions directly to the participating federal staff. Participating federal agencies include:

  • Elizabeth Darling, Commissioner, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, at the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • Ruth E. Ryder, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Formula Grants, U.S. Department of Education (ED)
  • Caren Harp, Administrator, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
  • Jennifer Kemp, Director, Division of Youth Services, U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)
  • Paul C. Webster, Senior Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • Robert Marbut, Executive Director, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH)
4:00 pm – 4:15 pm Closing Remarks

Please note that the agenda is subject to change.