Quick Facts: Texas

  • Law & Policy: 63% 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: 52% 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: 72% of metrics met 
     
  • Environment: 6% of metrics met

State Score 2020: 55

State Ranking 2020: 19

Texas Highlights

Some areas where Texas has moved the needle relative to other states include providing unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness the opportunity to seek legal independence and live independently and addressing the educational needs of youth experiencing homelessness.

Law & Policy

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

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

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

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

Systems​​

  • There is a current state plan to end homelessness.​

    • The state plan has a "youth" component.

Environment

  • None.

Recommendations for Improvement

There is room for improvement throughout the metrics for the Lone Star State, with emphasis on the Law & Policy and Environment categories. Laws authorizing comprehensive supports and services for youth experiencing homelessness, addressing their educational needs, and protecting their rights and interests, including the rights and interests of 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 explicitly allow unaccompanied youth under 18 to apply for health insurance coverage without parental consent.

Systems

  • 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 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.

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

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True Colors United & National Homelessness Law Center
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