Quick Facts: Louisiana

​​​​​​​​​Performance Breakdown
  • Law & Policy: 85% of metrics met
    • Laws authorizing comprehensive supports and services for youth experiencing homelessness: 92% of metrics met 

    • Preventing youth experiencing homelessness from coming into contact with the criminal and juvenile justice systems: 81% 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: 78% of metrics met 

  • Systems: 67% of metrics met 
  • Environment: 82% of metrics met

State Score 2021: 81
State Ranking 2021: 3

2021 Score

2020 Score



Louisiana Highlights

Louisiana has moved the needle relative to other states including providing unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness the opportunity to seek legal independence and live independently, creating systems to address the needs of homeless youth, and protecting the rights and interests of youth experiencing homelessness, including LGBTQ youth. 


Law & Policy

  • The state has a state Runaway & Homeless Youth Act.

  • The state allows shelters to take in homeless youth with a delay or waiver of notification requirements.

  • 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.



  • There is a current state plan to end homelessness



  • The state promotes 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.

  • The state requires 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.

Recommendations for Improvement

There is room for improvement throughout the metrics for the Pelican State, with emphasis on the Law & Policy category. Limiting opportunities for contact between youth experiencing homelessness and the juvenile and criminal legal systems should be prioritized.


Law & Policy

  • The state should explicitly allow homeless youth to use SNAP to buy hot restaurant or prepared meals



  • 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.

  • Amend regulations to allow minors to obtain state-issued identification without parental consent.



  • Organize and maintain a self-governing youth action board or council to inform youth homelessness policy within the state.

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

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