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ABA Policy and Advocacy
Action Needed to Prevent COVID-19 Eviction Crisis (December 2020)
Res. 10H, on prevention of an eviction crisis, housing insecurity, and destablization of the housing market, and encouraging mitigation of long-term consequences of eviction (August 2020)
(Upcoming Webinar) Obstacles at Every Turn — Native Vote in a World of Coronavirus (October 1, 2020)
(Webinar Recording) Pro Bono Services in the Time of COVID-19
(On-Demand CLE) Consumer Debtor Protections & Rights for Low-Income Americans During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Commission on Homelessness and Poverty
(Webinar Recording) Fines, Fees and COVID-19
(Webinar Recording) Coronavirus: Protecting Safety-Net Public Benefits During the Pandemic, Commission on Homelessness and Poverty
(Webinar Recording) Coronavirus: Homeless Community Adverse Impact from Eviction & Lack of Safe Housing, Commission on Homelessness and Poverty
(Webinar Recording) Issues Affecting Native American Communities During the COVID-19 Crisis
(Webinar Recording) Reentry Planning for COVID-19 Releases
(Webinar Recording) New Jersey COVID-19 Jail Release Agreement
Other Resources and Programming
REPORT: Costs of COVID-19 Evictions, National Low Income Housing Coalition
National Federal Eviction Moratorium--Learn About Protections and Steps Renters Must Take, National Law Income Housing Coalition
Your Child Has the Right to Stay in School! Know-Your-Rights Toolkit for Unaccompanied Youth & Families Who Lack Stable Housing, National Homelessness Law Center
COVID-19 & the HCH Community: Needed Policy Responses for a High-Risk Group, National Healthcare for the Homeless Council
COVID-19 Response for Students Who are Homeless or With Experience in Foster Care, Juvenile Law Center, Hope Center, and SchoolHouse Connection
National Low Income Housing Coalition: learn more about NLIHC's weekly national calls
Stanford Law School COVID-19 Memo Database The COVID-19 Memo Database aggregates 4,611 memoranda in a searchable format designed to help users quickly identify relevant information.
(Webinar Recording) Federal Policy Update: Coronavirus Funding and Policy on Child and Youth Homelessness, SchoolHouse Connection and National Network for Youth
Guidance (CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.) Jurisdictions may choose to vaccinate residents of congregate facilities at the same time as frontline staff, due to their shared risk of disease (i.e. as part of Phase 1). Many states currently include homeless shelters in Phase 2.
Youth Service Provider Testimony
Learn how some of our Homeless Youth Legal Network Model Programs have adjusted to the pandemic.
Bay Area Legal Aid (San Francisco, California)
BALA has expanded services to Contra Costa County, where it works with Kelly House, a young adult shelter. In Contra Costa, BALA can provide emergency services to youth aged 14-21 and beds for young adults aged 18-21. Referrals are also received from clinicians, youth centers, the Public Defenders Office, etc. Common issues seen are public benefits (SSI), employment, consumer, family law, guardianship, extended foster care, and education advocacy. In Alameda County, BALA works with homeless and at-risk youth (13-24) through Covenant House and Dream Catchers. For those aged 13-17, BALA’s work focuses on finding more permanent housing options, immigration, and public benefits. For those aged 18-24, the focus is public benefits, consumer rights and debt, and parents receiving benefits on behalf of youth. Clinic hours are now held over the phone. In Santa Ana and Santa Clara counties, BALA partners with the Bill Wilson Center, which provides shelter and programs, where it administers clinic hours and takes referrals. Clients range from ages 15-24, and issues include consumer, public benefits, guardianship, foster care entry, name/gender marker change, etc.
The pandemic has caused BALA to shift from onsite clinic hours to more referrals, which require shelters provide access to phones and space for youth to make calls. BALA is also reconfiguring Know Your Rights trainings and developing resource videos with other partners.
Center for Children’s Advocacy (Connecticut)
CCA has maintained its outreach during the pandemic through social media engagement (such as answer questions and assistance requests), existing relationships with youth action boards (such as meeting via Zoom, learning about what issues youth are facing, and peer-to-peer outreach planning), and telecommunication. CCA is developing COVID-response videos on youth-decided topics, such as accessing stimulus checks, Connecticut utilities shut-off and eviction moratoria, and food access. CCA cannot conduct mobile legal outreach as it typically has due to COVID-19 and is instead conducting intake by phone and social media.
Community Legal Services of Philadelphia (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
CLS has created a partnership model to address the varying needs and capacities of youth-serving agencies. CLS identifies and trains potential partners for potential addition to its community outreach rotation list. This allows partners to familiarize with CLS’ work and services, including Youth Justice Project services; allows CLS to educate on common misconceptions about civil legal issues youth experience; and allows collaboration with staff on the front lines of issue spotting. This new partnership protocol has enabled 7 new community partnerships, which include identity specific housing providers serving young parents and people identifying as LGBTQIA+; a health clinic specializing in gender affirming care; a high school for opportunity youth; and a workforce development program that uses environmental service as a vehicle to teach career and technical skills. These programs meet youth where they are by adjusting tools and approach to affirm their identities.
CLS launched in July its first Youth Fellowship and Advisory Council, employing youth with lived experience to join CLS for a year and develop and implement projects aimed at improving experiences and outcomes for their peers. The program is youth-led; the youth develop their own curriculum, invite guest speakers, and select issue areas about which they feel most passionate. Authentic youth partnership improves the relevance and effectiveness, and increase the willingness, of young people to engage in services.
Family and Youth Law Center at Capital University School of Law (Columbus, Ohio)
FYLaw continues to provide services to homeless youth, youth aging out of Foster Care, and financially insecure young adults through legal services, continuing education services, social services referrals, and participation in public policy advocacy.
In 2018, the City of Columbus initiated an effort to address youth homelessness, while the State of Ohio initiated a program to assist youth aging out of the foster care system. FYLaw participated in the development of these programs and remains available to serve its youth and collaborate with staff affiliated with the agencies administering these programs.
During the pandemic, FYLaw has adjusted to provide its services virtually by phone, video-chat and videoconference, and email. There has been a significant reduction in requests for services due to the pandemic, but FYLaw anticipates clients will be enabled to contact FYLaw as courts resume their schedules.
Homeless Youth Legal Clinic (Utah)
While client needs have largely stayed the same, HYLC has had to find new ways to meet them. HYLC tested remote provision of services in the spring, but found that it was more effective to hold VOA Youth Resource Center hours outside of the building 3-4 times a week to risk COVID-exposure while still interacting with and building trust with youth.
Additionally, most Utah court hearings have been held over Webex; for HYLC, this has made it easier for youth to attend, and VOA staff/case management often help at those hearings. During the pandemic HYLC has emphasized building collaboration between the clinic and VOA staff.
Legal Counsel for Youth and Children (Washington State)
LCYC recently expanded to Walla Walla County, where immediate areas of need were for food access; housing-specific work like eviction moratoria; public benefits, unemployment, and stimulus check resources; and education manuals. LCYC is replicating its King County Youth Engagement Team program (YET) in Walla Walla this year, demonstrating the potential for collaboration between urban and rural communities and the effectiveness of interdisciplinary models, as well as helping legal aid practice and building literacy and access. The King County YET targets minors; Walla Walla’s will focus on minors and young adults.
LCYC is also working with the King County Housing Justice Project, an organization focused on eviction which relies on pro bono. With grant assistance LCYC is working to blend its youth-focused, community-based, multi-disciplinary approach with the Housing Justice Project’s great legal expertise. LCYC has also received funding from the United Way of King County and will also be hosting an Equal Justice Works Fellow in Fall 2020 who will connect with community providers and create educational resources.
During the pandemic, LCYC is regularly connecting with shelters and holding virtual intake. LCYC now accepts text messages and referrals online, as well as has created more online, county-specific resources. LCYC expects an onslaught of evictions. During the pandemic LCYC has seen unemployment, stimulus check, housing, McKinney-Vento, medial, juvenile detention, and equity issues.