U.S. Congressman Adam Smith (D-09) met recently with a group of YouthCare staff, board members, and former clients to discuss barriers and challenges to serving homeless youth and young adults. The conversation shed particular light on the needs of homeless youth who are “couchsurfing”—that is, floating between temporary housing situations without knowing how long they will be able to stay.

Instability and lack of a safe and consistent place to sleep make couchsurfing youth extremely vulnerable, but they can find it difficult to access housing and other services they need due to multiple federal definitions of homelessness. The YouthCare group spoke with Congressman Smith about the need for clarifying the federal definition to ensure that these vulnerable youth are served. We’re grateful to the Congressman for taking the time to meet and for his attention to the needs of homeless youth and young adults!