Quick Facts: Wisconsin

  • Law & Policy: 54% of metrics met
     
    • Laws authorizing comprehensive supports and services for youth experiencing homelessness: 33% 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: 17% of metrics met 
       

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

  • Systems: 94% of metrics met 
     
  • Environment: 24% of metrics met

State Score 2020: 56

State Ranking 2020: 16

Wisconsin Highlights

Wisconsin has moved the needle relative to other states in allowing youth experiencing homelessness access to critical supports and services and building systems to comprehensively address homelessness.

Law & Policy

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

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

  • 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 state entity (Office of homeless youth services, homeless youth state coordinator, commission on homeless youth, etc.) that focuses solely on youth homelessness.

  • There is a current state plan to end homelessness.

    • The state plan has a "youth" component.

Environment

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

Recommendations for Improvement

There is room for improvement throughout the metrics for the Badger State, with emphasis on the Law & Policy and Environment categories. Laws authorizing comprehensive supports and services for youth experiencing homelessness and protecting the rights and interests of LGBTQ youth should be prioritized.

Law & Policy

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

  • The state should pass a law that funds and provides oversight and regulation to youth homelessness services.

Systems

  • The state should provide public college tuition waivers to youth who were in foster care anytime after their 13th birthday.

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.

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Copyright © 2021
True Colors United & National Homelessness Law Center
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