Programming Ideas for Youth Experiencing Homelessness


  • Leslie Forstadt University of Maine Cooperative Extension
  • Sarah Yuan University of Hawaii at Manoa, Center on the Family
  • Kerri Ashurst University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension
  • Melissa Scheer University of Missouri Extension
  • Stephanie Myers University of Georgia Cooperative Extension
  • Heather Sedges Wallace University of Tennessee Extension



homeless, resilience, youth programming, drop-in center, youth experiencing homelessness


This article provides an overview of some of the demographics of youth experiencing homelessness and examples of how Cooperative Extension is working with this population around the country. A discussion of the needs of this population is provided, along with strategies for how Extension can connect with current efforts to reach youth experiencing homelessness to build resilience. Data are summarized from a webinar for Extension professionals. Education in this area is worthwhile to youth development professionals who may be interested in designing new programs, expanding current programs, finding new program partnerships, and using programs to support youth experiencing homelessness. Local and national-level programs that are designed to reach youth experiencing homelessness are highlighted. The structure and resources of the Cooperative Extension system nationwide are ideal to provide supplementary support to youth experiencing homelessness in a variety of settings. This article is an invitation to expand this conversation and further explore the needs of youth experiencing homelessness and Extension’s capacity to respond.

Author Biographies

Leslie Forstadt, University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Associate Extension Professor

Human Development Specialist

Kerri Ashurst, University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension


Senior Extension Specialist


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