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SOAR Integration in the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP)

The Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) is an exciting funding opportunity from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for communities to design and implement a plan to prevent and end youth homelessness.

YHDP Grant Opportunity

The Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) is an initiative designed to reduce the number of youth experiencing homelessness. The goal of the YHDP is to support selected communities, including rural, suburban, and urban areas across the United States, in the development and implementation of a coordinated community approach to preventing and ending youth homelessness. 

FY2022 YHDP Competition

Each year, HUD releases a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to invite applications for the program. In 2023, HUD will select up to 25 communities, including 8 rural communities, to receive up to $15 million (for a total of $60 million) towards implementing new and innovative projects. Applications are due June 27, 2023Read more about this grant opportunity.

Integrating SOAR into Your Proposal to End Youth Homelessness 

SOAR is a key part of a systemic response to ending youth homelessness and represents an innovative model for increasing income and housing stability for youth who have disabling conditions, particularly for those exiting foster care. For youth with disabling conditions, Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits strongly contribute to USICH’s targeted outcomes for ending youth homelessness: stable housing, education, and employment benefits through SSA’s work incentives, and increased health outcomes through connection with Medicaid.

1. Bring SOAR providers to the table and find creative ways to work across systems.
  • Identify which populations currently have access to SOAR services and where increased access is needed, such as in the child welfare system, runaway and homeless youth programs, and juvenile corrections systems.
2. Nominate youth who have benefited from SOAR to the Youth Action Board to increase the voice of youth with disabling conditions in Continuum of Care (CoC) policy decisions.
  • The YHDP requires communities to create a Youth Action Board, consisting of a minimum of three members aged 24 or younger, at least two-thirds of whom have lived experience of homelessness.
  • Youth with experience in going through the SOAR process are uniquely equipped to provide insights into increasing access to benefits and using SSA’s work incentives to explore work and educational opportunities.
3. Create a plan for reaching out to youth exiting foster care and assisting them to apply for SSA benefits.
4. Utilize data from the SOAR Online Application Tracking (OAT) program to demonstrate how your community has increased access to SSA benefits and housing for individuals up to age 24.
  • Demonstrating that your community has been successful in addressing systemic challenges to ending homelessness, such as increasing income and housing stability for those with disabling conditions, is a key part of the YHDP and SOAR data can help show community progress.
  • Describing how your community implemented the SOAR model can be a great example of using innovation to transform systems!
See below for some examples of proposals that include SOAR!
If your community will be responding to this opportunity, we’d love to hear how you are incorporating SOAR into your plans! We encourage you to reach out for support from your SOAR TA Center Liaison as you develop your proposal to prevent and end youth homelessness