In 2016 the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Commission on Homelessness and Poverty and HHS’ Family & Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) convened the Homeless Youth Law & Policy Summit to address the unique legal issues impacting young people experiencing homelessness.

Youth experiencing homelessness have an oftentimes critical, but overlooked, need for legal services. Unaddressed, this can have an adverse impact on a youth’s ability to access or maintain housing stability, employment and income supports, healthcare, and other mainstream services.

 The two-day summit gathered youth, advocates, funders, and service providers, local and federal agencies, and legal representatives. Together, participants identified and mapped out critical legal and policy issues facing youth, including gaps in how services are delivered. The summit focused discussions around developing strategies to build comprehensive legal systems that support the needs of youth experiencing homelessness and the providers who serve them.