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Quick Facts: Missouri

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Performance Breakdown
  • Law & Policy: 52% 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: 33% 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: 33% of metrics met 

    • Allowing youth experiencing homelessness to access critical supports and services: 67% of metrics met 

  • Systems: 72% of metrics met 
  • Environment:12% of metrics met

State Score 2022: 49
State Ranking 2022: 35


2022 Score

2021 Score



Missouri Highlights

Some areas where Missouri has moved the needle relative to other states include providing unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness the opportunity to seek legal independence and live independently, and creating systems to address the needs of youth experiencing homelessness.


Law & Policy

  • State law provides youth experiencing homelessness some contract rights.

  • The state allows unaccompanied youth under 18 to apply for health insurance coverage on their own.



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

  • There is a state interagency council on homelessness.



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

Recommendations for Improvement

There is room for improvement across the metrics for the Show-Me State, with much more state support needed to prevent and end youth homelessness and protect the rights and interests of youth experiencing homelessness, including LGBTQ youth, should be prioritized.


Law & Policy

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

  • The state should have a transition plan for children exiting the juvenile justice system.

  • Decriminalize running away.



  • The state plan to end homelessness should be updated to include strategies specific to 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.



  • The state should establish and maintain stipends for a community advisory board 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.

  • The state should establish nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ youth in youth homelessness services.

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