National Youth Forum on Homelessness

Young leaders have a seat at the table to directly impact national policy and local practice.

Youth Inform Policy Through Lived Experience.

True Colors United’s National Youth Forum on Homelessness (NYFH) is a group comprised exclusively of young people to contribute to the growing national dialogue on how to make youth homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring. NYFH ensures that the national conversation is informed by and filtered through the perspectives of young people who have experienced homelessness, and that strategies to end homelessness are generated by youth and young adults themselves.

The primary goal of NYFH is to identify and analyze policy that impacts youth who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness, and advocate for strong policy based upon that analysis. Forum members, all of whom have experienced homelessness, use personal experience, research, and data to assess the effectiveness of programs that assist homeless youth and advocate for change.

"We must continue increasing access and lowering barriers so that every youth can live a life full of love and free of judgement in a home where their hearts truly are."

– Kahlib Barton, True Colors United Chief Program Officer

Youth Collaboration Becomes A Priority.

NYFH has successfully initiated ideas and made decisions about federal policy and local practice with guidance and support from partner organization. When the US Department of Housing and Urban Development contracted NYFH members to review applications for their Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project (YHDP) grants, forum members received a one-day training on the grant review process and reviewed and scored 77 applications. Forum members continue to provide technical assistance to YHDP communities, facilitating youth engagement across the country.

NYFH also supports A Way Home America’s 100-Day Challenges, which aim to test new strategies and house young people in communities across the country. NYFH helps facilitate youth engagement in each of these communities, offering expertise and tracking progress.

Rivianna Hyatt talks "community" at the Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness.

Meet the National Youth Forum.

  • Kiana Johnson

    • I currently live in Houston, Texas but I am moving to Los Angeles and am from Philadelphia.
    • My favorite song right now is ‘Break My Soul’ by Beyoncé.
    • I do this work because I am dedicated to the chance for a world that actually is based in equity, for a time that one day the marginalized will not be marginalized and that society will give everyone what they need to thrive.
  • Serena Chapa

    • I am currently based in Chicago, IL.
    • My most listened to song at the moment is Fearmonger by Saba feat Daoud.
    • The reason I do this work is that I am passionate about expanding access to housing and supportive services for young people to not just survive, but really thrive and start living as they come into their own independence and transition into adulthood.
  • Taisacan Hall

    • I live in Las Vegas.
    • My favorite song right now is Break My Soul by Beyoncé.
    • I continue to do this work because I believe that what we considered to be normal has been a major catalyst to where we are now. This work allows me to be a part of something bigger and I intend to envision, build, and fight for a better future.
  • Arree Macon

    • I currently live in Madison, WI.
    • My Favorite Song: “Tombstone” by Rod Wave.
    • I do this work because it centers my story and what I come from. It fills me with joy to be an advocate in this work and influence change.
  • Jennifer Myers

    • I live in Los Angeles, California.
    • My favorite song right now is Can’t Let Go by Raab and a few others by him.
    • I love doing this work, because I found a place where I can stand out. Rather than fit in, I get to share my journey and overcome my obstacles. I enjoy helping others and advocate for the voiceless. Because I once was the person that didn’t have a voice. I pray this journey takes me to places I never been. As well as put me in a space where I am appreciated and valued as a young adults and advocate.
  • Jas Snell

    • Chattanooga, TN.
    • I am still raving on Jazmine Sullivan’s deluxe album ‘Heaux Tales’.
    • Most systems have impacted my family for generations and continue to. I am blessed to be out of touch with my homelessness experience and have had stable-like shelter for the past 5 years but that isn’t the case for all young people, especially system-involved youth.
  • Lolah James

    • I live in Baltimore.
    • Favorite song rite now is “Earth Is Ghetto” by Aliah Sheffield and “Confidence” by Savannah Cristina.
    • I do this work because the little girl from Brooklyn New York who grew up to be me needed someone like me to make changes in the world for her.

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