Quick Facts: Louisiana

  • Law & Policy: 69% 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: 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: 50% of metrics met 
       

  • Systems: 39% of metrics met 
     
  • Environment: 82% of metrics met

State Score 2020: 66

State Ranking 2020: 8

Louisiana Highlights

Some areas where Louisiana has moved the needle relative to other states include 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.

Systems

  • There is a current state plan to end homelessness

Environment

  • The state maintains a community advisory board for youth that informs youth homelessness policy.
     

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

  • There are nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ youth in youth homelessness services.

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 decriminalize running away as a status offense.
     

  • The state should explicitly allow unaccompanied youth under 18 to apply for health insurance coverage without parental consent.

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.

Environment

  • The Executive Branch (Governor’s Office) should set a goal of ending youth homelessness.
     

  • The state should ban conversion therapy for minors.
     

  • The state should develop a public awareness campaign on youth homelessness.

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True Colors United & National Homelessness Law Center
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