Quick Facts: Alaska

Performance Breakdown

  • Law & Policy: 58% of metrics met
     
    • Laws authorizing comprehensive supports and services for youth experiencing homelessness: 50% of metrics met 
       

    • Preventing youth experiencing homelessness from coming into contact with the criminal and juvenile justice systems: 57% of metrics met 
       

    • Providing unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness the opportunity to seek legal independence and live independently: 88% of metrics met 
       

    • Addressing the educational needs of youth experiencing homelessness: 100% of metrics met 
       

    • Allowing youth experiencing homelessness to access critical supports and services: 39% of metrics met 
       

  • Systems: 28% of metrics met 
     
  • Environment: 6% of metrics met

State Score 2021: 44
State Ranking 2021: 45

2020 Score

2021 Score

44

38

Alaska Highlights

Alaska has moved the needle relative to other states in providing unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness the opportunity to seek legal independence and live independently. 

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Law & Policy

  • The state doesn’t consider running away a criminal offense.
     

  • The state gives minors contract rights OR allows them to enter into binding contracts for certain purposes (e.g. necessities).
     

  • The state explicitly allows partial and alternative school credit accrual for homeless youth through regulations.

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Systems

  • There is a state interagency council on homelessness.

  • The state allows youth to obtain a state-issued identification card without parental consent.

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Environment

  • The state establishes protected class status based on one's sexual orientation and gender identity for juvenile justice programs.

Recommendations for Improvement

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

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Law & Policy

  • Enact and fund a state law similar to the federal RHYA to provide key intervention and emergency services for youth experiencing homelessness.

  • Enact a state law that allows youth in need of care to receive services without court involvement.

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

  • Allow  unaccompanied youth under 18 to apply for health insurance coverage (without parental consent)

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Systems

  • The state should create and adopt a public plan to end homelessness that includes youth (and specifically LGBTQ+ youth).
     

  • The state should create an entity – such as an Office of Youth Homelessness Services – that focuses solely on designing, implementing, and evaluating youth homelessness programs.

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Environment

  • The state should establish and maintain a stipended community advisory board for youth that informs youth homelessness policy (Youth Action Board). 
     

  • The state should require training about sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, healthy sexual development or issues specific to LGBTQ+ youth for staff working in RHY Systems.
     

  • Ban harmful and ineffective service provision that includes conversion therapy.

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