Phone: (716) 853-1101 | 960 Main Street Buffalo, NY 14202

Unaccompanied Youth Homelessness and YHDP

Find out what resources are available for unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness: 

Resource Guide

Youth Action Board Resources Page 

Dial 211 for more information.

Our Initiatives

Youth Task Force

Bringing together key players in the community to end youth homelessness through collaboration, youth empowerment, and a shared vision. The YTF is a collaboration between Homeless Alliance of Western New York and WNY Coalition for the Homeless and includes the following workgroups: Youth Action Board, YHDP Lead Team, Community Education & Resources, and Coordinated Entry & Outreach.

Reach Out! End Youth Homelessness is an initiative to end youth homelessness, focusing on “unaccompanied youth”, which means a youth or young adult, between the ages of 11 and 24, who is experiencing homelessness or housing instability on their own and are not with their parents or legal guardians. 

Visit our Facebook page for updates on current activities and initiatives!


For more information on the Youth Task Force, contact Homeless Alliance of WNY and/or WNY Coalition for the Homeless. 

The Task Force was started by WNY Coalition for the Homeless’ advocate Nadia Pizarro several years ago and has made many strides in alleviating the burdens of homelessness for youth in our community. Each member of the Task Force brings a unique perspective to the table – and each new perspective is a piece of the puzzle we need to end youth homelessness.

Youth Action Board

“Young people are the voices of their own truth.”

The Youth Action Board exists because youth and young adults who’ve experienced homelessness are leading the effort to end homelessness for all young people. We create innovative solutions by providing a safe space for youth and young adults with lived experience of homelessness to come together to strategize, share stories, learn, and put solutions into action.

Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program

Erie and Niagara Counties received $3.59 million dollars towards the creation of innovative new programs to end youth homelessness.

The Erie/Niagara YHDP Coordinated Community Plan has prioritized three type of projects: Joint Transitional Rapid Rehousing, Family Engagement Team, Overnight Drop In Center.

Click here to access the results – funding amounts 

Coordinated Community Plan

Our community undertook an eight month long youth-centric strategic planning process to develop this Coordinated Community Plan. Through deliberate discussions with our Youth Action Board, Youth Task Force, Community Stakeholders, and YHDP Technical Assistance providers, we developed the needs assessment, guiding principles, visions, goals, and prioritized projects.

Coordinated Community Plan can be viewed and downloaded here.

Click here to check out the Coordinated Community Plans from Round 1 and 2


Erie and Niagara County – YHDP Resources for Clients and Providers: 

Quick Resource Sheet – YHDP – Erie Niagara – for YYAs and Providers 

Family Engagement Team Written Standards (Pending Board approval)

TH-RRH Written Standards (Approved)

Drop In Center Written Standards (Pending Board approval)

Prevention Diversion Screening Tool – Required for Provider Use

Lifeworks Goal Outcomes YHDP – Required for FET and TH-RRH

BestSelf FET Referral Form – For providers or YYAs

Referral Form for 3D pdf – For providers or YYAs

CoC Eligible Costs – HUD Policy 


Technical Assistance and Youth Task Force YHDP planning meetings:

10/2/2019 (with TA providers) – Kickoff meeting Power Point

10/17/19 – Youth Task Force Meeting Power Point

1/23/2020 – 1.23.20 YHDP Meeting PowerPoint


The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness have have five criteria for ending youth homelessness:

1. The community identifies all unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness.
2. The community uses prevention and diversion strategies whenever possible, and otherwise provides immediate access to low-barrier crisis housing and services to any youth who needs and wants it.
3. The community uses coordinated entry processes to effectively link all youth experiencing homelessness to housing and services solutions that are tailored to their needs.
4. The community acts with urgency to swiftly assist youth to move in to permanent or non-time-limited housing options with appropriate services and supports.
5. The community has resources, plans, and system capacity in place to continue to prevent and quickly end
future experiences of homelessness among youth.

Other Resources for Policy Making 
Criteria and Benchmarks for Ending Youth Homelessness
Preventing and Ending Youth Homelessness: A Coordinated Community Response
Ending Youth Homelessness: A Guidebook Series

Elements of Effective Youth Programs

Each program that applies for YHDP funding must incorporate a Positive Youth Development and Trauma-Informed Framework. Here are some resources to learn how to make your programs more youth centered:

Trauma Informed Care – SAMHSA

What is Trauma-Informed Care? UB School of Social Work 

About Positive Youth Development – HHS 

Integrating Positive Youth Development 

Positive Youth Development Measurement Toolkit