Homeless Youth (HY)
Bureau of Youth Services & Delinquency Prevention
Division of Community Health & Prevention
Illinois Department of Human Services

Program Description


The Homeless Youth program serves those youth who are 20 years of age or younger who cannot return home and/or lack the housing and skills necessary to live independently.


The purpose of the Homeless Youth program is to provide services that help homeless youth transition to independent living and become self-sufficient. The program strives to meet the immediate survival needs of youth (food, clothing, and shelter) and assist them in becoming self-sufficient.


The Homeless Youth program provides several types of important services for homeless youth.

They include:

  • Transitional Living - Services focus on developing skills necessary for self support, including education, employment services, life skills training, and subsidized housing.
  • Emergency / Interim Housing - Youth receive a safe, clean, dry place to sleep either through placement in a shelter or group home. While reunification with their family is always a goal, education, employment services, life skills training and other needed services are offered to youth when possible.
  • Outreach - Services seek to find homeless youth in areas where they congregate and assess their needs. Program staff may attempt to reunite them with family or refer them to emergency shelter or for transitional services.

Delivery Method

The Homeless Youth program is administered by 21 community-based agencies. The program serves 27 Illinois counties, suburban Cook County and the city of Chicago

Program Data

Program Expenditure (Numbers in 000's) $4,721.3 $4,724.1 $4,508.9 $3,563.2
Number of Grantees 21 21 21 21
Number Served 1,947 1,070 1,127 2,593

Note: Numbers served: As recorded by providers in the Division e-Cornerstone system. FY10 numbers reflect all youth served by the program during FY10. Previous years reflect only new enrollees.

Program Effectiveness

  • Youth were assessed for needs and strengths and a case plan developed for service provision. Parents were involved in the development of this plan whenever possible.
  • An Ansell-Casey Assessments are conducted for clients in the emergency shelter and transitional living programs.
  • Individual case plans are developed and implemented for these youth.
  • The Ansell-Casey Assessment is conducted upon discharge from the program to capture level of success in the program.
  • Case management, provision of food and shelter, life skills training, employment assistance, advocacy, education assistance, and parenting skills were provided to youth.
  • Program standards have been developed and implemented.
  • Program providers continue to improve their ability to accurately report program data in e-Cornerstone.