True Colors Fund
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
NLCHP logo

State Highlights

Some areas where Louisiana has moved the needle relative to other states includes preventing homeless youth’s contact with the criminal and juvenile justice systems, providing unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness the opportunity to seek legal independence and live independently, and creating systems to address the needs of homeless youth.

Law & Policy

  • State does not criminally punish youth who run away.
  • State law allows youth in need of supervision to receive services without court involvement.
  • State law does not specifically criminalize running away.
  • State law provides youth experiencing homelessness some contract rights.
  • State allows unaccompanied youth under 18 to apply for health insurance coverage on their own.
  • State has RHY legislation 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.

Systems

  • There is a current state plan to end homelessness that contains a youth-specific strategy component.
  • There is a state interagency council on homelessness.

Environment

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

Recommendations for Improvement

There is room for improvement throughout the metrics for the Pelican State, with emphasis on the Environment category. Protecting the rights and interests of youth experiencing homelessness, including LGBTQ youth, should be prioritized.

Law & Policy

  • Implement a grievance process for students experiencing homelessness that complies with federal law.

Systems

  • As part of the state plan to prevent and end youth homelessness, include a strategy to address homelessness among LGBTQ youth.
  • Create a state entity - such as an Office of Homeless Youth Services - that focuses solely on designing, implementing, and evaluating youth homelessness programs.

Environment

  • Organize and maintain a self-governing youth action board or council to inform youth homelessness policy within the state.
  • 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.
  • Ban controversial and ineffective service provision that includes conversion therapy.
  • Promote safe and inclusive environments in child welfare and runaway and homeless youth programs by providing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Download The Fact Sheet

Download a print-friendly version of this state's scorecard.

DOWNLOAD