HUD has an FAQ published to give guidance on how exits to educational destinations, such as college dorms, should be coded in HMIS. https://www.hudexchange.info/faqs/programs/continuum-of-care-coc-program/program-administration/general/how-should-i-classify-the-exit-destination-of-clients-who-exit-a-continuum/
The exit destination for persons attending college will depend on the specifics of the exit situation, but it is important to select a destination response category that reflects both the true nature of the situation and the fact that continuing education is a positive outcome for the client.
In some cases, a client may be exiting to live with his or her family or with friends with the expectation that they will live there while they are in school. In this case, project staff should select “living with family (or friends, as appropriate), permanent tenure.” Although the student may be expected to move out after graduation or completing the education program, this response category is most consistent with the general understanding that the client is expected to live with family or friends for a prolonged period.
In other cases, a client is exiting to live in a dormitory operated by the school. In this case, the housing is only available for the time the student is enrolled in school. The response category selected should again be consistent with the notion that the young person moving into a dormitory will be there for a prolonged period of time. In this case, the client can be considered to be in rental housing, consistent with the terms of the agreement between the student and the school. Similar to rental housing, dorms are not owned by their tenants and students in dorms have certain rights and responsibilities, including the requirement to pay for their housing. If a person is entering a dorm, the recipient should indicate that the client’s destination is “rental by client, no ongoing housing subsidy,” unless there is a subsidy directly tied to the dorm. For example, if a person gets financial aid, and uses that aid to pay for their dorm room, then the exit destination is “rental by client, no ongoing housing subsidy.” However, if a person gets a free dorm room as part of their financial aid package, then the recipient should indicate “rental by client, with other ongoing housing subsidy.” In other words, a subsidy only counts if there is funding that specifically goes to pay for the housing and that subsidy in some way goes directly from the payor to the housing provider. If a student will be living off campus and using a typical housing subsidy such as Housing Choice Voucher, then the recipient should select “rental by client, with other ongoing housing subsidy” as the exit destination.
The bottom line is that HUD considers continuing education, including attending a formal college degree program, to be a positive outcome for clients and wants to encourage programs to include attending college as a positive exit for their youth. However, recipients should continue to accurately reflect clients’ actual destinations where a specific response category exists (e.g., emergency shelter, place not meant for human habitation, halfway house), regardless of the educational plans. As long as the exit is to housing (i.e. not living in their car, on the streets, in an abandoned building, etc., while pursuing education) and regardless of the length of the educational program’s semester, the exit should be recorded as positive by using the categories described above.
How Homelessness Prevention funds can be used to prevent homelessness among youth exiting foster care?
A youth who is exiting such an agency/system could, in some cases, be considered at-risk of homelessness and possibly be eligible for homelessness prevention assistance under the ESG program. To be eligible for homelessness prevention assistance, the individual must meet one of the categories of the “at-risk of homelessness” definition, must have an annual income below 30 percent of the median family income for the area, as determined by HUD, and must not have sufficient resources or support networks to prevent him or her from moving to an emergency shelter or other place not intended for human habitation.
A youth will not be eligible for ESG assistance if a youth who is receiving funding from Juvenile Justice or Child Protective Services since that would be considered a ward of the State. Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) funds may not be used to serve youth who are wards of the State because youth who are wards of the State are not defined as homeless under the HEARTH Act.