Laws authorizing comprehensive supports and services for youth experiencing homelessness: 17% 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: 61% of metrics met
Systems: 22% of metrics met
Environment: 0% of metrics met
State Score 2020: 42
State Ranking 2020: 39
Some areas where Montana has moved the needle relative to other states include not relying on the criminal justice system to provide services to youth experiencing homelessness, maintaining a state plan to end homelessness, and providing youth experiencing homelessness some contract rights.
Law & Policy
The state doesn’t consider running away a criminal offense.
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.
The state explicitly allows unaccompanied youth under 18 to apply for health insurance coverage without parental consent.
Recommendations for Improvement
There is room for improvement throughout the metrics for the Treasure State, with emphasis on the Systems and Environment categories. Protecting the rights and interests of youth experiencing homelessness, including LGBTQ youth, should be prioritized.
Law & Policy
The state should pass a law that funds and provides oversight and regulation to youth homelessness services.
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.
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.
The state should establish nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ youth in youth homelessness services.
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