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State Highlights

Some areas where Minnesota has moved the needle relative to other states include laws authorizing comprehensive supports and services for youth experiencing homelessness, allowing them to access critical supports and services, and implementing a multi-sector approach to addressing youth homelessness.

Law and Policy

Law & Policy

  • The state has RHY statutes similar to the federal Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) that provides funding for emergency services and other supports to prevent and end youth homelessness. 
  • State law does not criminally punish youth who run away.
  • The state allows shelters to take in homeless youth with a delay or waiver of notification requirements.

Systems

Systems

  • There is a current state plan to end homelessness that contains a youth-specific strategy component. 
  • The state has created an entity that focuses solely on designing, implementing, and evaluating youth homelessness programs.
  • There is a state interagency council on homelessness.
  • The state provides tuition waivers for foster youth.

Environment

Environment

  • The state promotes safe and inclusive environments in child welfare programs by providing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

 

Recommendations for Improvement

There is room for improvement throughout the metrics for the North Star State, with emphasis on the Environment category. Creating a more welcoming, safe, and inclusive environment for youth experiencing homelessness should be prioritized.

Law and Policy

Law & Policy

  • Enact regulations which explicitly allow partial and alternative school credit accrual for homeless youth. 
  • Establish a formal process for emancipation. 
  • Enact regulations which explicitly allow unaccompanied youth under 18 to apply for health insurance coverage without parental consent.

Systems

Systems

  • Create a system within the State Department of Transportation to address proof of residency requirements to receive a state-issued identification card.
  • As part of the state plan to prevent and end youth homelessness, include a strategy to address homelessness among LGBTQ youth.

Environment

Environment

  • Require training about sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, healthy sexual development, or issues specific to LGBTQ youth for staff working in runaway and homeless youth systems.
  • Promote safe and inclusive environments in runaway and homeless youth programs by providing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. 
  • Ban controversial and ineffective service provision that includes conversion therapy.

 

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