Youth Housing Stability Coalition

United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg lists homelessness as a related indicator for the Basic Needs component of its Steps to Success framework. There are many youth in our communities without safe, affordable and stable housing. We are committed to changing that.

The Youth Housing Stability Coalition launched in 2017 with the goal of reducing homelessness and housing instability among youth ages 14-24 in the region.

United Way manages this program together with the Advocates for Richmond Youth (ARY) and Dr. Alex Wagaman, an assistant professor in the VCU School of Social Work. The program is supported by the Richmond Memorial Health Foundation and the Bob and Anna Lou Schaberg Fund.

In the United Way service area, many young people have experienced homelessness at some point in the past twelve months. Even more have experienced housing instability, which includes “couch surfing” and trading sex for shelter. Certain sub-populations, including LGBTQ+ youth, youth of color, refugee/immigrant youth, youth aging out of foster care and parenting youth, are particularly affected by housing instability.

The Youth Housing Stability Coalition works to address this issue and strives to do so by inviting young people who have personally struggled with homelessness and housing instability to the decision-making table. In addition to the youth voice, the Coalition consists of more than 30 nonprofits and other organizations that serve youth. These providers are consistently confronted with the issue of youth housing instability and understand its effects on young people’s ability to succeed in school, at work and in other areas of their lives.

Following a three day planning summit held in April 2018, the Youth Housing Stability Coalition developed a comprehensive, coordinated Community Response Plan for our region. The plan outlines important steps needed to reduce homelessness and housing instability among Richmond’s young people.


  • March 2019 – On Wednesday, March 6, The Robins Foundation announced the award of the 2019 Lora M. and E. Claiborne Robins, Sr. Community Innovation Grant of $500,000 to Commonwealth Catholic Charities to support the Youth Housing Stability Project.  Read more.
  • April 2019 – The Youth Housing Stability Coalition hosted a special screening of new interviews with young people experiencing housing instability.  Developed by Richmond sound artist, Vaughn Garland, these pieces are now available on a new interactive site.
  • September 2019 – A Way Home America (AWHA) announced Greater Richmond as a selected community of its Grand Challenge to end youth homelessness at the True Colors United Impact Summit in Washington, D.C. Learn more.

  • Read our Q&A with Katina Williams, who worked with partner organizations to form and manage the Youth Housing Stability Coalition.
  • United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg lists homelessness as a related indicator for the Basic Needs component of its Steps to Success framework. For more information about United Way’s broader efforts to fix the core challenges preventing people from meeting their basic needs, visit our Basic Needs page.

For more information about all of United Way’s Steps to Success, click here.

For more information about the Youth Housing Stability Coalition, contact:

Jeanine Mowbray
Director of Community Impact
United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg