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State Highlights

Some areas where New Hampshire has moved the needle relative to other states includes minimizing court involvement of youth experiencing homelessness, making healthcare accessible to them, and maintaining a state plan to prevent and end homelessness.

Law & Policy

  • State law allows youth in need of supervision to receive services without court involvement.
  • State law does not specifically criminalize running away.
  • State allows unaccompanied youth under 18 to apply for health insurance coverage on their own.

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

  • Ending youth homelessness is a goal of the Executive branch (Governor).

Recommendations for Improvement

There is room for improvement throughout the metrics for the Granite State, with emphasis on the Environment category. Making it easier to receive services without court involvement and protecting the rights and interests of youth experiencing homelessness, including LGBTQ youth, should be prioritized.

Law & Policy

  • Pass legislation that gives youth experiencing homelessness some contract rights.
  • 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, juvenile justice, and runaway and homeless youth programs by providing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

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