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Quick Facts: Wisconsin

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Performance Breakdown
  • Law & Policy: 58% of metrics met
    • Laws authorizing comprehensive supports and services for youth experiencing homelessness: 42% of metrics met 

    • Preventing youth experiencing homelessness from coming into contact with the criminal and juvenile justice systems: 76% of metrics met 

    • Providing unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness the opportunity to seek legal independence and live independently: 75% of metrics met

    • Addressing the educational needs of youth experiencing homelessness: 17% of metrics met 

    • Allowing youth experiencing homelessness to access critical supports and services: 56% of metrics met 

  • Systems: 67% of metrics met 
  • Environment: 6% of metrics met

State Score 2022: 57
State Ranking 2022: 21


2022 Score

2021 Score



Wisconsin Highlights

Some areas where Wisconsin has moved the needle relative to other states is by building systems to comprehensively address homelessness and preventing youth experiencing homelessness from coming into contact with criminal and juvenile justice systems.


Law & Policy

  • The state allows youth in foster care to access extended foster care services to age 21 under some circumstances and allows eligible youth who have exited the foster care system after 18 to re-enter care until age 21.

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

  • The state does not consider runaway youth as delinquent or a status offender.

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



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

  • There is a state interagency council on homelessness.

  • The state does not require parental consent for youth to obtain state-issued identification cards.



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

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

Recommendations for Improvement

There is room for improvement throughout the metrics for the Badger State, with emphasis on the Law & Policy and Environment categories. Addressing the educational needs of youth experiencing homelessness and protecting the rights and interests of 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.

  • Allow partial and alternative school credit accrual for youth experiencing homelessness.

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



  • Create a state plan to end homelessness that contains a youth and LGBTQ+ specific strategy component.



  • Require 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.

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

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