Kansas City Collaborative Sets the Stage for Regional Efforts to End Youth Homelessness
A local policy summit prompts community stakeholders to form a regional council and inspire other regions to do the same
On July 18, 2016, more than 70 representatives from Kansas City area nonprofits, private foundations, public schools, and local, state, and national governments came together to brainstorm barriers and best practices to ending youth homelessness. Dubbed the Ending Youth Homelessness in the Kansas City Region by 2020 Policy Summit, the event was organized by the Cookingham Institute of Urban Affairs in the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri - Kansas City and federal partners from the Administration for Children and Families and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
More than 7,600 children and youth were classified as homeless in nine counties in the Kansas City metropolitan region in 2015-2016, according to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Kansas Department of Education.1 The U.S. Department of Education defines homeless children and youth as those who "lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence" and who may be sharing someone else’s housing or living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, camping grounds, emergency or transitional shelters, cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or who are abandoned in hospitals.2 Based on that definition, the sizable number of homeless children and youth is actually considered to be underreported due to young people’s unwillingness to admit to being homeless for fear of embarrassment, stigmatization, harassment, or institutionalization. Read More