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American Bar Association launches National Homeless Youth Legal Network

American Bar Association launches National Homeless Youth Legal Network

Homeless youth in the United States remain a largely invisible segment of the homeless population, though researchers estimate that nearly eight percent of youths experience living on the streets. The importance of legal assistance for youth experiencing homelessness is paramount, and commendably, the American Bar Association (ABA) is working to fill the gap.

The ABA is recognized as a leader in addressing the legal needs of vulnerable populations, including homeless youth. Lawyers play a critical role in improving outcomes for homeless youth by enforcing existing laws as well as advancing new policy and removing legal barriers to benefits, education, employment, health care, housing, identification, treatment and services.

In an effort to increase legal services for this vulnerable population, the ABA Commission on Homelessness & PovertyCommission on Youth at Risk, and Section of Litigation Children’s Rights Litigation Committee announced today the official launch of the ABA Homeless Youth Legal Network. HYLN is designed to serve:

  • Homeless youth seeking legal assistance
  • Service providers working with homeless youth
  • Lawyers seeking training or technical assistance

In the past, finding free legal assistance for youth experiencing homelessness has been a challenge, but we are heartened by the number of innovative legal assistance programs springing up around the country, such as the following:

Recently, the Legal Counsel for Youth and Children (listed above and located in Washington) wrote an excellent blog post on the value of free legal assistance for youth experiencing homelessness, which you can read here. To learn more about the ABA’s new Homeless Youth Legal Network today, click here.

MANY