June 29, 2018

Legal Needs of Homeless Youth Initiative

HYLN Pro Bono

HYLN Pro Bono - A special initiative of President Hilarie Bass

The Following measures were passed overwhelmingly by the ABA House of Delegates in February 2018:

Resolution 301 endorses the UN General Comment No. 21 on Children in Street Situations.

Resolution 113 calls for “integrated, systemic approaches within administrative, civil and criminal court contexts to address the special needs of youth and young adults experiencing homelessness.”

The ABA Legal Needs of Homeless Youth Initiative was established in August 2017 by ABA President Hilarie Bass. The initiative includes a national pro bono effort matching lawyers, law firms and in-house counsel with homeless youth shelters and drop-in centers as well as an international summit focusing on implementation strategies of the recently released UN General Comment on Children in Street Situations. Both efforts aim to engage and equip the legal community to advocate for homeless youth and improve outcomes for this vulnerable population. 

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The Network has chosen 12 Model Programs to help highlight promising practices across the country, and to help illustrate the value of providing legal services to youth experiencing or at high risk for homelessness.

• Arizona Legal Women and Youth Services (ALWAYS), Arizona

• Bay Area Legal Aid, California

• Community Legal Services of Philadelphia (CLS), Pennsylvania

• Family & Youth Law Center at Capital University School of Law, Ohio

 Homeless Persons Representation Project: Homeless Youth Initiative, Maryland

• Homeless Youth Legal Clinic, Utah

• Center for Children's Advocacy, Connecticut

• Legal Counsel for Youth and Children (LCYC), Washington

 Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, Youth Law Project, Minnesota

• Pegasus Legal Services for Children, New Mexico

• The Door, New York

 Urban Justice, Peter Cicchino Youth Project, New York

This directory includes information that legal providers have shared with the ABA Homeless Youth Legal Network regarding the services they provide to youth experiencing or at risk for homelessness. 


HYLN has collected numerous resources from the ABA and other organizations related to the representation of youth experiencing homelessness. Please contact Kelly Russo if you have additional resources for consideration.

As discussed in “Runaway and Homeless Youth and the Law: Model State Statutes,” model state statutes address a wide spectrum of issues; local advocates must choose their focus, and HYLN is equipped to facilitate trainings and discussions related to the following issues:

  • Runaway and Homeless Youth Act
  • Youth Housing
  • Juvenile Justice Reentry Practices
  • Transitioning from Foster Care Policies
  • Family Law
  • Access to Health Care
  • LGBT Youth Civil Rights Protections

International Summit on the Legal Rights of Street-Connected Children & Youth

November 28-29, 2017

São Paulo, Brazil

Hosted at the Law Offices of Trench, Rossi e Watanabe Advogados

Firm Address:

Rua Arq. Olavo Redig de Campos, 105 – 31st floor
EZ Towers Building, Tower A, 04711-904 
São Paulo - SP – Brazil

Click HERE for more information


To subscribe to the Network listserv, or if you have any questions about the Network, please e-mail hyln@americanbar.org.

To join the International Street Youth Listserv, fill out the short form here.

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Resolves to Address Homeless Youth and Families
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

ABA Coordinating Committee on the Legal Needs of Homeless Youth

The Coordinating Committee's mission is to foster greater collaboration, leverage resources and better promote ABA homeless youth related programming, policy and resources to members and outside organizations.

The following entities are members of the Coordinating Committee:

Become an ABA member! Find details about special discounted dues for public interest lawyers here.