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Model State Statutes: Youth and Young Adult Homelessness

Second Edition Now Available

The Model State Statutes

This publication was written in collaboration with the National Network for Youth, National Homelessness Law Center, SchoolHouse Connection, True Colors United, Community Legal Services Philadelphia, Arizona Legal Women and Youth Services, Legal Counsel for Youth and Children, and Homeless Persons Representation Project, with generous support from The Raikes Foundation and Baker McKenzie.

This book is a resource for—and a tribute to—the policymakers, practitioners, and advocates who work tirelessly to improve the lives of youth experiencing homelessness. It is our hope that this publication will ultimately encourage and equip states to address their needs in a way that is comprehensive and helpful, not narrow and punitive.

See the full Model State Statutes publication here!


In 2021, the Commission, along with our local and national partners and youth advocates, embarked on a two-year journey to update the previous Model State Statutes based upon significant updates in the practice of serving youths experiencing homelessness. Partners were tasked with conducting efficacy and equity analyses to determine the models’ applicability to the on-the-ground experiences of youth, the intersectionality of systems interfacing with youth, and the specific needs of the most vulnerable subpopulations of youth.

Over a period of two years, additional experts, practitioners, and youth from across the nation weighed in on this analysis and the legislative approach to suggest revisions. With this feedback, our partners edited the models accordingly. We then reconvened the experts, practitioners, and youth to ensure that the models incorporated their input. What emerged from this second collaborative effort—and is reflected in the models—is a foundational understanding and acknowledgement that youth are best served by having the agency to exercise rights on their own behalf.

While each model is not individually endorsed by the American Bar Association, collectively, they represent the national consensus on what is needed at the state level to meet our obligations to our nation’s most vulnerable citizens.


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For all other questions, please contact [email protected]