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Youth homelessness is a big problem in Texas. Sarah Narendorf, an assistant professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work (GCSW), is the lead author of a study that aims to help Texas legislators find solutions.
“You look on paper and you might think we have some good services and resources in Texas, but at the same time, it is failing to actually meet the needs and prevent homelessness in a lot of young people,” Narendorf said.
The UH GCSW was contracted by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs to analyze data from three sources about homeless youth in Texas and present their findings to lawmakers during the 85th legislative session.
“We tried to make the report have enough in it so that people could take the recommendations and translate that into legislation,” Narendorg said.
The recommendations include: improving data sources for counting homeless youth, providing a full continuum of housing related supports, increasing support to youth identified through schools, addressing the needs of youth in foster care and juvenile justice, and removing barriers to exiting homelessness.
“I think there is a wide range of things that our report speaks to. There are different areas where there might be actions for the legislature to take to improve services in different ways for this broad group of young people that are homeless,” Narendorf said.