The National Youth Forum on Homelessness welcomes 15 new members into its ranks.
The National Youth Forum on Homelessness (NYFH) is the country’s only youth–led advocacy body dedicated to preventing and ending youth homelessness. Forum members, all of whom have experienced homelessness firsthand, use personal experience, research, and data to assess the effectiveness of programs that assist homeless youth and advocate for change.
We’re thrilled to announce that NYFH has just accepted 15 new members! Each member has committed to serve a two–year term, and we can’t wait to see what they accomplish. In the meantime, let’s get to know a bit about each of them!
Meet the new faces of the National Youth Forum on Homelessness.
San Jose, CA
“Too many young adults are experiencing homelessness. I am excited to work with the True Colors Fund & others across the nation to end youth homelessness.”
Superhero: Wonder Woman
Gary, IN (currently Washington, D.C.)
“I do this work because our youth do not just deserve housing, they deserve housing where they are treated with respect. A place where our youth are safe to be free in their own sexual expression and are confident they will be loved and accepted. They deserve a place that protects them in times of need and supports them on their journey in life.
Superhero: Toni Braxton
Fun Fact: Anthony was a 2017 True Colors Fellow!
“I do this work because I will show up for my own if no one else will”
Superhero: Janet Jackson
Fun Fact: Aurora was a 2017 True Colors Fellow!
“I feel it is important to restore Natural Order in our world by returning power and rights to their rightful owners: every human being. Fighting for all people’s right to housing, safety and respect is the least I can do to contribute in making a just and harmonious world.”
“I know how hard it is to feel alone because people make you feel alone. I wanna be a guiding light for people who have been where I been. I know God put me In this position because he knows I can be that light and contribute to ending youth homelessness. For along time I’ve always wanted to know what my purpose was, I now know its to help prevent what I went through within the next generation. Leading and passing on knowledge that I’ve learned.”
Superhero: Static Shock
David Van Horn
Traverse City, MI
“I do this work because the youth who become homeless deserve to have their best chance and housing shouldn’t be a factor in their successToo many young adults are experiencing homelessness. I am excited to work with the True Colors Fund & others across the nation to end youth homelessness.”
Superhero: The Flash
“As a formerly homeless youth I advocate for a better tomorrow…to ensure that no youth ever has to know homelessness and pave the road for the youth that are our countries future. Once an Advocate always an Advocate”
Georgetown, Guyana (currently New York, NY)
Pronouns: he/him/his, they/them/theirs, or Jha’asryel
“More than an experience, homelessness is a hurdle to one’s personal development, wellness and overall ability to live life purposefully. This has been my personal experience, my motivation to aid the prevention and eradication of homelessness. For there is no hope without a home.”
Superhero: Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty
San Jose, CA
I do this work is because through experience & exposure together we can be a force to eliminate homelessness holistically.”
Superhero: Black Panther
“I do this because I want to make a difference and change the world so that the next generations after us don’t have to suffer through the things we did. It’s time for change.”
“No youth or young adult should ever have to experience homelessness. I am often concerned for youth and young adults who have that lived experience. I want to work with change-makers to make a difference through policy and action, to empower those whose voices often go unheard.”
“I do this work because I know what it’s like to be in that system and not have enough resources or programs to turn too. I want to represent trans women who have it hard.”
Superhero: Mariah Carey
Los Angeles, CA
“I do this work because there is scarce representation of queer non-binary people with intersectional adversities in this work – whether in the criminal justice system, homelessness, or child welfare, etc.”
Superhero: Angela Davis
“I do this work because I believe that in order to bridge the gaps that people experiencing homelessness face, we must first ourselves advocate for change to combat oppression and the lack of resources.”
“I do this work because in Indiana there is not a lot of options for youth when it comes to homelessness. So I can help others not have to navigate the system blind like I did. To give back and to be like the few that helped me overcome my struggles.”
Superhero: Yekaterina Petrovna Zamolodchikova AKA Kayta
Meet the Executive Committee.
“I do this work because, i know what its like to see and feel the ramifications of land being stolen and the forced displacement of people of Color. I have live at the intersections as a first generation Caribbean person whose family fled U.S. government involvement in Colombia and am an indigenous queer person born of native Rarámuri women still seeking land and home.”
Superhero: Beyoncé and Eartha Kitt
Holly Springs, NC
“I do this work because the lives of youth dealing with homelessness is beyond a priority. It is salient to work with youth in an equitable way to make the experience of youth dealing with homelessness obsolete. The systems need to alter for better outcomes and lifestyles for young adults and understand the “real” aspect of the homelessness experience.”
Superhero: Beyoncé and Hercules
Pronouns: she/her/hers, King, Goddess
“I do this work because it needs my experience and expertise.”
Superhero: bell hooks
Los Angeles, CA
“I do this work because I recognize that having young people at every level of the work is key to cracking the code.”
Fun Fact: Rivianna was a 2015 True Colors Fellow!
“I do this work because I believe that by uplifting & centering the voice & expertise of young people with lived experience, we can truly work to end youth homelessness.”
New York, NY
“I do this work because… I want to be a superhero, but in real life. I want to make the world better for me and my friends, but also for the future. I want to change the world we live in for the better. For me that starts here.”
Here’s how you can make a difference.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to foster authentic youth collaboration at your agency or site, check out our Youth Collaboration Toolkit! This free document is a great starting point to help staff at your agency center the voices of young people who’ve experienced homelessness firsthand. By prioritizing their expertise, we ensure that solutions to youth homelessness are holistic, sustainable, and inclusive.