NN4Y is the trusted representative of community-based youth service providers before Congress, the White House, and federal regulatory agencies and has been for 45 years.

NN4Y works with our partners to influence public policy to promote system reform that strengthens communities’ capacity to prevent and respond to youth homelessness and human trafficking. With our National Youth Advisory Council members, we identify policies and practices that put young people at risk of homelessness and barriers that prevent youth from getting the help that we need. Together, we advance effective advocacy strategies to prevent and end youth homelessness in America + reform systems that put young people in vulnerable situations.

We take a cross-system approach to our work that includes collaboration with education, child welfare, employment, housing, and juvenile justice system reform. Advocacy helps us to remove barriers to assistance and gain new and increased resources targeted at preventing and ending youth homelessness.

A systems approach to addressing youth and young adult (YYA) homelessness

Watch our short animated video that explains our systems approach to addressing youth and young adult (YYA) homelessness in America.

Learn More About Our Approach

A Presidential Agenda for Solving Youth and Young Adult Homelessness in America

The Biden-Harris Administration has an obligation and opportunity to ensure youth and young adults experiencing homelessness are at the forefront of its efforts to end all forms of homelessness in America. This co-created policy agenda believes whole-heartedly that homelessness in America can end if there is a radical shift to expand resources and implement common-sense policies that prevent and respond to youth and young adult homelessness. Click here to read the full transition plan.

Targeted Legislation: The 117th Congress

Download our 2021 Congressional Calendar

A new session of Congress has officially begun which means that all of our legislation needs to be reintroduced.  We are working with congressional staff to have the following bills re-introduced:

The current economic crisis and related family stress threaten to create new waves of family and youth homelessness. Even before COVID-19, youth and family homelessness were at record levels: public schools identified over 1.5 million children and youth experiencing homelessness.

The Emergency Family Stabilization Act fills the gap by providing flexible emergency funding to the agencies that are closest to children, youth, and families. Helping children, youth, and families through the systems to which they are most connected will stabilize them quicker and more effectively, and prevent long-term homelessness.

Learn more and download resources.

The Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) received a short-term reauthorization in 2018 and is in need of a full programmatic reauthorization that makes key updates to this program.  RHYA funds three pillars of prevention and intervention for youth and young adults at risk of and experiencing homelessness:

  • Street Outreach (SOP): education, treatment, counseling, and referrals to vital services
  • Basic Center (BCP): temporary shelter, counseling, family reunification services, and aftercare services
  • Transitional Living (TLP): longer-term housing with supportive services, including Maternity Group Homes for pregnant and parenting youth

Learn More.

The Homeless Children and Youth Act (HCYA) is a bipartisan and bicameral bill that restores local decision-making and improves the ability of communities to meet the unique developmental needs of youth and young adults (YYA) experiencing all forms of homelessness. HCYA will allow communities to serve some of the most vulnerable YYA by aligning federal definitions of homelessness. 

NN4Y actively advocates for the passage of HCYA to allow communities to serve all youth experiencing homelessness by aligning HUD eligibility criteria with other federal programs, including the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act and McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth Act programs.

Learn more and download resources.

Too often, youth and young adults who have experienced homelessness must choose between stable housing or obtaining full-time education. Due to a limitation in the eligibility criteria for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, individuals who are experiencing or have experienced homelessness would otherwise qualify to live in low-income housing are not eligible for LIHTC rental units if they attend school full-time. This bill would ensure that youth and young adults and veterans who have experienced homelessness can access affordable housing while simultaneously pursuing education. 

NN4Y urges Congress to pass the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act and include the vital fix to the student rule so students experiencing homelessness can go to school full time and access vital LIHTC funded housing.


The Higher Education and Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act (HEASHFY) is a bipartisan and bicameral bill that will remove barriers to college enrollment, affordability, and completion for homeless and foster care involved youth. HEASHFY will require colleges and universities to improve outreach, resources, and policies for homeless and foster youth. Including streamlining the FAFSA and eligibility process for financial aid, providing housing options between terms, and designating a single point of contact to help provide valuable services for these vulnerable students. It also requires the U.S. Department of Education to help resolve questions about a student’s independence, publishes usable data, and ensure its programs identify, recruit and prepare homeless and foster students for college.

NN4Y urges Congress to pass the Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act.

Additional Resources

Policy Resource: Earmarks

Congressionally Directed Spending: Senate Earmarks In April 2021, Senate Appropriations Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT) announced the Senate Appropriations Committee would...

In-District Advocacy Toolkit

An advocates guide on how to effectively build relationships with policymakers and influence their positive participation in NN4Y’s national advocacy...