Homeless Youth
Program Fact Sheet

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 - These services focus on developing skills necessary to support oneself, 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 or by purchasing lodging.
  • Outreach - These 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 transitional services.

Delivery Method

The Homeless Youth program is administered by community-based agencies. This program is available in six Illinois counties and the city of Chicago.

Program Data

Homeless Youth Program Data
Performance Indicators SFY03 SFY04 SFY05 SFY06
Grant Amount (Numbers in 000's) $4,229.00 $4,649.70 $4,393.20 $4,553.40
Number of Grantees 19 19 19 19
Number Served 600 600 600 625

Program Effectiveness

  • 19 Homeless Youth providers serve approximately 625 youth, ages 14 to 20 in their Emergency Shelters and Transitional Living Programs.
  • An addition undetermined number of youth are served in the Homeless Youth Outreach programs across the state. This number is not readily available as no names or demographic information is collected on these youth.
  • Each youth is assessed for needs and strengths and a case plan developed for service provision. The parent may or may not be involved in this plan.
  • Services include case management, provision of food and shelter, life skills training, employment assistance, advocacy, education assistance, and parenting skills.
  • The youth enrolled in the Transitional Living program may remain in the program for up to two years or until turning 21.
  • Although the program provides assistance to a large number of youth each year, well over one thousand youth are turned away due to no openings in the agencies.