Youth Homelessness - Key Accomplishments

Legislative gains

  • 2021: Advocated for passage of SB 2054, which provides money for youth in foster care or those experiencing homelessness to complete driver’s education courses, something that is too costly for most of these young people. In 2019, Texas Appleseed worked with a coalition to pass a bill to waive fees associated with driver’s licenses, state identification certificates, and any qualifying documents needed to get these IDs for youth in foster care or youth experiencing homelessness. The 2019 bill created a fund where Texans can donate money when they renew their own licenses; this fund quickly amassed more money than was needed for its original purpose. Working with the same coalition in 2021, Texas Appleseed worked to expand the use of the fund. Completing driver’s education and getting a license opens up more employment opportunities for young people and helps them achieve economic stability.
  • 2019: Advocated for passage of HB 811, which requires K-12 public schools to consider a student’s foster care or homelessness status in the case of disciplinary action.
  • 2019: Advocated for HB 692, which ends out-of-school suspension for students experiencing homelessness, barring narrow exceptions.
  • 2019: Worked to bring HB 123 to fruition, which now makes it easier for homeless children and those in foster care to obtain important ID documents, such as birth certificates and driver’s licenses, and waives accompanying fees.

Reports and research

  • November 2017: Published Young, Alone and Homeless in the Lone Star State, a policy report with partner Texas Network of Youth Services. The report was the most comprehensive study to date on the state of youth homelessness in Texas and the programs in place to address it.
  • Resources for youth experiencing homelessness and stakeholders
  • November 2018: Launched the We Do Exist campaign with partner LifeWorks. We Do Exist aims to raise awareness about youth experiencing homelessness in Texas and offer ways to get involved. is one component of the campaign featuring resources, statistics, news and events.
  • December 2016: Published the Texas Homeless Youth Handbook, in partnership with Baker & McKenzie and Weatherford. This online and print guide helps youth experiencing homelessness better understand their legal rights, responsibilities and resources. It covers education, employment, health, housing, parenting, and other major topics. Texas was the fourth state in the U.S. to have this particular resource. We are continuing to update the handbook to ensure it is accurate.