Podcast: How services for homeless youth have adapted to COVID

Today’s Youth News Podcast: Season 1 — Episode 1

When schools closed and states locked down against COVID-19 in March 2020, employees of organizations serving homeless youth felt a wave of panic. How would they help students trying to attend a remote school from inside a car? Or reach quarantined children in overcrowded homes where money for food and rent has already run out?

As COVID-19 has upended their usual protocols, some nonprofits have seen the number of homeless youth they serve plummet. But for other organizations across the country, the pandemic has spurred innovations in how they find and serve a population whose needs have been amplified and, in some ways, made more acute due to COVID-19.

A number of service providers have adopted online and telephone options for young people to apply for housing, participate in support groups and connect with case managers, mental health counselors and doctors. Other groups went in the opposite direction, delivering food and other supplies directly to young people and their families wherever they were sheltered, including in cars and motel rooms. Several organizations across the country have also begun experimenting with giving money directly to young people, allowing them to determine how best to meet their own needs.

For this episode of the Youth Today News podcast, we focus on two vendors from one city who responded to the pandemic in very different ways, saw the benefits of doing something new, and were forever changed by it.


This podcast episode was produced in partnership with Cross section. It is part of an ongoing series on homelessness in Washington State made possible, in part, with support from the Raikes Foundation. Youth Today and Crosscut retain editorial control.

Read the full article on Youth Today.

Podcast credits
Host: Patrick L. Riley
Producer/Reporter: Sam Leeds
Journalist: Allegra Abramo
Editor-in-chief: Mark Baumgarten

Related Stories and Videos
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Educating young people in shelters was already a challenge – then the coronavirus hit

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