The tools and techniques explored in this toolkit are used in the strategic planning process developed by the True Colors Fund to address LGBTQ youth homelessness in communities across the United States. This work is informed by the federal strategic plan introduced by the U. S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), which seeks to end youth homelessness by:
- Focusing on prevention.
Focusing on early identification and intervention.
Creating community-wide coordinated entry systems that connect youth to services based on their needs and circumstances.
In addition to stable housing, this framework is designed to support youth in achieving the following key goals: forging connections to positive social networks like family and community; completing educational activities and/or maintaining employment; and gaining the social and emotional competencies needed to thrive.
From 2014 to 2016, the True Colors Fund partnered with five federal partners (the U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Education, Health & Human Services, and Justice, along with the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness) to launch the LGBTQ Youth Homelessness Prevention Initiative. Throughout the process, the True Colors Fund provided technical assistance to stakeholders in two pilot communities – Houston, TX and Hamilton County, OH – as they identified successful strategies for preventing and ending LGBTQ youth homelessness and developed strategic plans to address the issue. Following completion of the pilot, the True Colors Fund began replicating this model to launch True Colors Community Initiatives in additional communities across the United States.