Youth Moving Forward

Mission Statement-

Working together to ensure stability, opportunity and connection Youth Moving Forward is a voice for homeless youth and youth at risk of homelessness. Engaging legislators, policy makers, community members, and with strong involvement from youth, we work together to ensure stability in housing, opportunities for education, and healthy transitions from foster care to adulthood.

Purpose Statement-

The purpose of Youth Moving Forward is to end youth homelessness through prevention and intervention.

Progress Timeline-


The Homeless Youth Act bill was introduced by the senate and the House (SF 548/HF 581)


 Legislators appropriated an additional $1 million per year to the HYA, bringing the investment to $6.238 million per biennium ($3.19 million per year).


Advocates for homeless youth in Minnesota waged a statewide campaign at the Minnesota legislature to request $8 million per biennium to the RHYA. The legislature appropriated $4.238 million per biennium, changed the name to the Homeless Youth Act (HYA) and required the OEO to report on the use of funds statewide.


The Minnesota legislature authorized $238,000 each biennium ($119,000 per year) to the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA).


 The MN Department of Human Services selected Rainbow Research to conduct the evaluation of 2007-RHYA funded programs and the evaluation was published for the legislature and the public in October 2008 (link).


In response to an $8M request and significant advocacy conducted by the wider community, the Minnesota Legislature authorized $1 million in one-time funding to fund the RHYA to meet the needs of youth experiencing homelessness in Minnesota and to use up to 5% of the funds to have an external evaluation conducted to review the effectiveness of RHYA programs, funded through the DHS Office of Economic Opportunity.


The legislature passed language authorizing the Minnesota Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA), defining homeless youth as a young person 21 and under unaccompanied by parent or guardian without a fixed, permanent place to sleep – including couch hopping. RHYA defined the best practice continuum of care required to meet the needs of homeless youth in categories of street outreach, drop-in centers, emergency shelter and transitional living program and supportive housing and is available to unaccompanied youth ages 16-21. The 2006 legislation called for a study from the MN Department of Human Services to further define the needs facing homeless youth in Minnesota. Funding was not authorized in 2006.


Join the Movement & Take Action: Sign up to be a voice for youth

Through determining the shortfalls that cause youth homelessness in Minnesota, informing legislators and community members, and encouraging legislation, Youth Moving Forward acts as a voice for the homeless youth of Minnesota.

Everyone is welcome at the Youth Moving Forward table.

  • Meetings are held every third Monday of the month at Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota in St. Paul.
  • Interested in learning more?  Contact Youth Moving Forward.

Share the Story

View the Twin Cities Public Television documentary, Homeless Youth: Finding Home. (25 minutes)