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Engaging People with Lived Experience of Homelessness


Youth Engagement: Peer-to-Peer Solutions for McKinney-Vento Policies and Practices (archived webinar)

This October 2022 HETAC webinar, copresented by the HETAC and the Center for Cities + Schools at the University of California, Berkeley, explores the Y-PLAN Project model for youth civic engagement and research; strategies for engaging students in collecting research, providing feedback, and sharing their insights on issues facing unhoused students; and additional resources for more information.

Other Resources

Authentic Youth Engagement within Organizations: What Does It Look Like in Practice? 

This Chapin Hall brief examines the understanding and practice of authentic youth engagement within organizations. Through small-group interviews and a review of relevant literature and programmatic materials, the authors identify the core components of authentic youth engagement as well as the potential barriers, recommended strategies, and examples to guide organizations in the practice of authentic youth engagement. 

Community Commons: Engaging People with Lived Experience Toolkit

Partnership and collaboration with people with lived experience of a core issue and/or inequity (PWLE) is an important strategy for creating lasting community transformation. Bringing PWLE into the work at all levels — including at the leadership level — brings depth, growth, and discovery. This toolkit explores strategies, tips, and resources to help create a high-functioning team, including understanding the team’s shared purpose, setting shared goals, valuing diverse team member contributions and perspectives, providing mutual support, and taking shared action.

SchoolHouse Connection: Principles of Youth Engagement

This SchoolHouse Connection resource explores how to engage youth with lived experience of homelessness in education, program design, and advocacy in an ethical and effective way.

Technical Assistance Collaborative: A Launch Pad for Youth Action Boards Video Series

This 6-part Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) webinar series, funded by the California Interagency Council on Homelessness, was developed by youth homelessness subject matter experts to help communities create and sustain Youth Action Boards (YABs). Topics covered include Workshop Overview & YAB 101, YAB External Structure, YAB Internal Structure, YAB Initial Engagement, YAB Long-Term Engagement, and Youth after YAB.

True Colors United: Youth Collaboration Toolkit

This True Colors United toolkit, developed in partnership with the National Youth Forum on Homelessness (NYFH), will help ensure that young people are authentically engaged in youth homelessness work while collaborating with the affirming adults in their lives. The toolkit was shaped by the voices of youth with lived experience of homelessness.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Methods and Emerging Strategies to Engage People with Lived Experience

This brief identifies lessons learned and key considerations from a range of methods for engaging individuals with lived experience to improve federal research, policy, and practice. The findings are based on a comprehensive environmental scan, key informant discussions, and consultations with lived experience experts. While the brief explores lived experience from the federal perspective, much of its content is applicable to the state and local contexts.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Paying People with Lived Experience and Expertise (PLEE)

This brief explores how to approach conversations about when and how PLEE would like to be paid, compensation considerations, and potential funding streams for payment. While this brief is part of a COVID-19 Homeless System Response series, its content is applicable to a context broader than implementation during a pandemic.

Youth Collaboratory: Guide to Authentic Youth Leadership and Collaboration

This Youth Collaboratory guide provides a template for developing and sustaining youth and young adult leadership groups. The tool provides guidance and resources grounded in authentic youth collaboration, equity, and leading with lived expertise, and covers topics such as mission and vision, team culture, compensation and invoicing, team functionality and workstyles, meetings and events, and group presentations and facilitation.

Youth Collaboratory: How to Host an Authentic Youth Listening Session

A listening session is a facilitated discussion with a particular group of people, intending to empower the members of the listening session to share their experiences to help shape research, policy, or practice. This Youth Collaboratory toolkit aims to provide resources and guidance for both service providers who wish to hold a listening session and for the young people who will be participating in the session. Listening sessions can be hosted to help service providers make decisions that are informed by youth and allow the youth the space to engage in effective change within their communities.