WHAT IS YOUTH COUNT DC?
Youth Count DC is an annual, District-wide effort to collect information on the scope and scale of homelessness and housing insecurity among young people living in the District. Data collected from Youth Count DC directly impacts the coordination of resources for youth homeless services, it informs the District's response to addressing the needs of youth experiencing or at risk of homelessness, and serves as a powerful advocacy tool for youth-serving organizations.
Youth Count DC is a collective effort of youth-serving providers, community stakeholders and District services agencies to conduct surveys of youth who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness at homeless services centers, meal programs, shelters, clinics, libraries, metro stations, on the streets, or other locations. Youth who complete the survey receive a $10 food gift card to thank them for helping us learn more about the issues that affect them.
WHO IS COUNTED?
The Youth Count helps provide a snapshot of the number and characteristics of transition age youth (TAY), age 18 to 24, and unaccompanied minors under the age of 18 (without a parent or guardian) who are experiencing homelessness or who are in unstable housing situations.
"Unstable housing" includes couch-surfing; living in a doubled-up situation with friends or relatives; staying temporarily in a motel due to loss of housing; or some other place that is not a permanent arrangement. Young people who are living in unstable housing arrangements have an increased risk of becoming homeless if their situation does not improve.
HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED:
If you are a youth 24 years or younger and are experiencing homelessness or housing instability, like couch-surfing or staying in someone's place because you can not get a place of your own, we want to hear from you! Find a Youth Count DC survey site and tell the staff that you want to take a Youth Count survey. The survey only take about 10 minutes and you will receive a $10 food gift card to Subway or McDonald's as a thank you for helping us learn more about the housing needs of youth like you.
Does your organization interact with youth who are experiencing homelessness or housing instability? The success of the Youth Count depends on partnerships with a broad array of stakeholders, from homeless services and local government to clinics, LGBTQ organizations, higher education, employment programs, domestic violence programs, the faith-based community, local businesses, and many others.
Partnering organizations can participate in a number of ways, including: surveying youth who meet the criteria at your organization, joining with another organization to be a volunteer surveyor at their center, joining one of the outreach survey teams to conduct surveys of youth in the streets, or donating in-kind goods to the Youth Count. Explore ways to get involved or contact The Community Partnership For The Prevention of Homelessness to get started.
Want to volunteer at a Youth Count DC survey site or with a street-based outreach team? Sign up to volunteer here, you can choose the dates and times that you want to help out. We will contact you and assign you to volunteer with one of our partnering organizations that will be surveying youth during the Youth Count week. Two surveyor trainings will be held on September 20th and 21st.