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) $4,563.3 $4,721.3 $4,724.1 $4,508.9
Number of Grantees 19 21 21 21
Number Served 835 1,947 1,070 1,127

Note: Numbers served: As recorded by providers in the Division e-Cornerstone system.

Program Effectiveness

  • Homeless Youth providers enrolled approximately 672 new youth in FY09, ages 14 to 20, in their Emergency Shelters and Transitional Living programs.
  • 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.
  • Case management, provision of food and shelter, life skills training, employment assistance, advocacy, education assistance, and parenting skills were provided to youth.
  • Providers have been trained on DCFS Rule 409, which implements the Partial Emancipation legislation.
  • Program standards have been developed and implemented.
  • A standards assessment review began full implementation in FY 08.
  • Program providers continue to improve their ability to accurately report program data in e-Cornerstone.