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Youth Homeless Services

Housed within the DC Department of Human Services (DHS), Family Services Administration (FSA), Youth Services Division (YSD), Youth Homeless Services (YHS) leads the city’s response to youth homelessness through grants to community-based organizations in the District of Columbia (District).  These organizations are valuable partners of DHS because they provide housing, street outreach, and drop-in center services for youth up to 24 years old experiencing homelessness or at risk of experiencing homelessness.  

DC Department of Human Services (DHS) through Youth Homeless Services funds the following programs (except when noted otherwise): 

Homeless Prevention and Diversion Services 

In addition to the services provided by the community partners listed above, YSD administers the Youth Housing Options Prevention Education (HOPE) program that provides youth homeless prevention, reunification, and stabilization services. The program works to divert youth from the homeless shelter system and reunite them with their natural supports (family, mentors, allies, etc.) via mediation services and family support, whenever safe and possible, as well as identification of permanent housing solutions.   

To be eligible for Youth HOPE, you must be:

District of Columbia Transition Age Youth (TAY), 24 years old or younger, homeless, living in doubled-up circumstances, in transitional housing, in the shelter, or at risk of homelessness. 

Services provided to youth eligible for Youth HOPE include:

  • Identification of housing options available to youth 
  • Mediation/conflict resolution with natural support (family, friends, or allies) to promote housing stability and emotional wellness  
  • Linkage to health and wellness services  
  • Connection to educational programs  
  • Linkage to employers and educational programs
  • Assistance with obtaining vital documents: birth certificates, social security cards, and IDs 
  • Short term financial supports through Project Reconnect diversion support
  • Case management services for up to six (6) months
  • Support youth with applying for benefits such as:
    1. Medicaid
    2. Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP)

For the Youth HOPE, Referral form Click here

Street Outreach 

Street Outreach provides outreach services designed to build relationships between outreach workers and street homeless youth and make connections to stable housing. 

  • Friendship Place - (202) 631-5008

Drop-In Centers 

Drop-In Centers are facilities that offer youth-specific day services to youths facing housing crises. The drop-in center utilizes a Housing First method to move youth into housing by connecting them with supportive services and resources.

  • Sasha Bruce Youthwork
    741 8th Street SE - (202) 675-9340 x214,215*
  • Latin American Youth Center (LAYC)
    3045 15 Street NW - (202) 713-0475*
  • Zoe's Doors
    900 Rhode Island Ave NE - (202) 248-2098*

(*) Resources at these providers vary but may include food, clothing, laundry services, showers, case management, and referrals to other services.
(+) Independently funded.

Emergency Shelters 

Emergency Shelters are short-term housing that expands the availability of youth-friendly shelters and services to youth facing housing instability ranging from one night to up to three months to enable them to grow and move toward independence.

  • Sasha Bruce Youthwork - Bruce House (ages 17 & under)
    - For entry call (202) 546-4900
  • Covenant House Greater Washington - The Sanctuary (18-24 yrs)
    - 501 Melon Street SE - (202) 610-9698
  • Covenant House Greater Washington - The SHINE (LGBTQ 18-24 yrs)
    - 4904 Quarles St NE – (202) 506-2432
  • Covenant House Greater Washington - Safe Haven (ages 18-24 yrs)
    - 511 Melon Street SE - (202) 610-9600
  • Healthy Babies – Muriel’s House (pregnant/parenting teens 16-21) 
    - For entry call (202) 396-2809
  • Sasha Bruce Youthwork– Phillip Reid’s Home (18-24 yrs)
    - 1814 Rhode Island Ave NE - (202) 948-2869

If you are 18-to-24 years old (transition-age youth, “TAY”) and experiencing homelessness, call the Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) Hotline at (202) 547-7777 or visit www.coordinatedentry.com under ‘Help?’ for a list of outreach providers and drop-in center locations.  

For more information about Youth Homeless Services, please call (202) 698-4334 or email [email protected].