Youth Homelessness in the United States

100-Day Challenges are an onramp to the A Way Home America movement to prevent and end homelessness among youth and young adults in the United States. We are building upon the national goals laid out in Opening Doors: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness and aligning with USICH's criteria and benchmarksAdditionally, we have partnered with the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development and HomeBase to launch 100-Day Challenges with communities across the country. So far, 32 communities have accepted the 100-Day Challenge to prevent and end youth homelessness.

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The Challenge

According to a study by Chapin Hall, 1 in 10 young people and 1 in 30 adolescents experience homelessness at some point during the year in the US, with that rate being even higher for youth who identify as LGBTQ+ and youth of color.  There is a pressing need for efficient and sustainable solutions to solve this heartbreaking issue in communities around America. 

Jumpstart Communities

In August 2016, System Leaders in three communities: Austin, Cleveland, and Los Angeles, united around a challenge to make significant progress; in 100 days on key outcome indicators related to youth homelessness in their communities.  RRI Catalysts worked with a 100-Day Team and Leaders in these communities to launch 100-Day Challenges in September of 2016.

One hundred days later, the three communities had ended homelessness for 428 youth and young adults, and each community had built a system for coordinating its efforts to reach, assess, assist, and connect youth to safe and stable housing. You can read more about the Jumpstart Communities here.

A Way Home Washington

Next, three communities in Washington State:  Pierce, Spokane, and King Counties, launched their 100-Day Challenges in April of 2017.  This work was done in partnership with A Way Home Washington with support from the Raikes Foundation and the Schultz Family Foundation.  After 100 days, 615 youth and young adults exited homelessness. The key findings report highlights the progress that was made and insights into how results and changes were achieved

HUD Cohorts

Through support from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and HomeBase, 9 more communities launched 100-Day Challenges on youth homelessness in 2017.  The communities included:

  • HUD Cohort 1

    • Baltimore, Maryland

    • Hennepin County, Minnesota

    • Columbus, Ohio

    • Palm Beach County, Florida

    • Louisville, Kentucky

  • HUD Cohort 2

    • Franklin County, Maine

    • Gulf Coast, Mississippi

    • Marion County, Oregon

    • Mendocino County, California

Over the course of 100 days in these 9 communities, 875 youth and young adults exited homelessness into safe and stable housing.  HUDExchange also released in-depth case studies on HUD Cohort 1, which can be found here.

In November of 2018, 5 additional communities launched 100-Day Challenges - representing the 3rd HUD Cohort to accept the Challenge to prevent and end youth homelessness. These communities included:

  • HUD Cohort 3

    • Miami-Dade County, Florida

    • Prince George’s County, Maryland

    • Sacramento, California

    • Southern Nevada/Las Vegas, Nevada

    • Suburban Cook County, Illinois

Their Challenge was completed, and 567 youth and young adults exited homelessness into safe and stable housing. You can view their full results by visiting their dashboards.

In 2019, a cohort of 4 rural communities was launched. These communities included:

  • HUD Cohort 4

    • Horry County, South Carolina

    • Northern Michigan

    • Tompkins County, New York

    • West Tennessee

With their Challenge now completed, these 4 communities housed 158 youth and young adults over the course of their 100-Days. You can view their full dashboards here.

Connecticut statewide initiative

Also in 2019, Connecticut embarked on an ambitious statewide initiative. 7 regions from across the state launched 100-Day Challenges simultaneously to prevent and #EndYouthHomelessness in their communities.

The 7 regions participating in the Challenge are:

  • Central Connecticut

  • Fairfield County

  • Greater Hartford

  • Greater New Haven

  • Meriden/Middlesex/Wallingford

  • Southeast Connecticut

  • Waterbury

Over the course of their collective 100-Days, these 7 communities housed 397 youth and young adults into safe and stable housing - gaining significant momentum towards their overall goal of ending youth homelessness by 2020. To check out their full results, view their dashboards.

US Senate Report

The US Senate Report for the FY 2019 T-HUD appropriations bill praised HUD’s funding of 100-Day Challenges to prevent and end youth homelessness, stating:

“The Committee applauds HUD's decision to use a portion of its technical assistance funding to support the 100-Day Challenge Initiative, a program that helps communities accelerate efforts to prevent and end youth homelessness. By offering local service providers the opportunity to come together to identify impediments and establish goals, the 100-Day Challenge leaves communities better prepared to confront youth homelessness in a comprehensive manner. The program also lays the groundwork for participants seeking to apply for a Youth Homelessness Demonstration Grant award.”


Our vision is that communities across the country jumpstart or accelerate their coordinated community response to end and prevent youth homelessness through 100-Day Challenges.  We anticipate additional cohorts in the future, but know that these are limited based on criteria from the funding source. Therefore, please reach out because we would love to figure out a way to work with you!  

We are also supporting work with communities to prepare to launch a 100-Day Challenge, post 100-Day support, and a training model for local representatives to act as Coaches.  We know that the end of the 100-Day Challenge is just the beginning, and there are tough questions (additional resource) that we need to address. There is a lot of work to do - but together, we can #EndYouthHomelessness!

For a full breakdown of the 32 completed Challenges so far, view our summary.

For more information, contact