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NEST: Collaborative to Prevent LGBTQ Youth Homelessness

nest-logo-final2NEST is a city-wide effort to prevent and end homelessness among adolescents and young adults who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ). In this region, NEST could change the futures of as many as 5,000 youth who run away or are kicked out of their home.
This collaboration—coordinated by the Montrose Center/Hatch Youth, led by Coalition for the Homeless Houston/Harris County and guided by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development—represents more than 60 Houston/Harris County youth agencies and service providers. The NEST Steering Committee has finalized its Strategic Plan, and is beginning the implementation phase and execution of activities, which will continue from the present until December 31, 2016. To view the full plan, click the link below. 
View the NEST Strategic Plan 
View the NEST Collaboration & Quality Improvement Plan 


NEST has five overarching objectives. These include:

  1. Facilitate better local collaboration between stakeholders working with youth to develop and implement a comprehensive community strategy to prevent homelessness among LGBTQ youth
  2. Improve identification of LGBTQ youth at‐risk of or experiencing episodic homelessness through outreach, screening and assessment
  3. Identify, coordinate and improve policies & interventions to prevent LGBTQ youth homelessness across shelter and housing systems (e.g., primary and behavioral health care, child welfare, education, employment, juvenile justice, law enforcement)
  4. Reduce homelessness among LGBTQ youth and improve their outcomes in the areas of permanent connections, stable housing, education/employment, and well‐being
  5. Inform national strategies for preventing & ending homelessness among LGBTQ youth

NEST receives funding from The Frees Foundation. National initiative partners include U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Justice – Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.

Participating Agencies

Advocacy Incorporated
AIDS Foundation Houston, Inc.
Association of Family and Community Integrity (AFCI)
Baylor College of Medicine
Baylor Teen Health Clinic
Bnai Brith Youth Organization (BBYO)
Bee Busy
Behavioral Health Alliance of Texas
Bering United Methodist Church Hawthorne Dinner
Catholic Charities
City of Houston-Mayor’s Office
Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris Co.
Communities in Schools
Covenant House Texas
Community Services Department (CSD), Harris County
Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH)
Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District (CFISD)
DePelchin Children’s Center
Equality Texas
Funders Together
Grace Lutheran Church
Harris County Juvenile Probation Department
Harris County Office of Social Services
Harris County Protective Services for Children and Adults
Harris County Protective Services (HCPS) Youth Services
Hay Center
Homeless Youth Network of Harris County
Houston Area Community Services (HACS)
Houston Independent School District
Houston Police Department Homeless Outreach Team
Legacy Community Health Services
Mayor’s Anti-Gang Office – City of Houston
Mental Health America
Mental Health and Mental Retardation Authority (MHMRA) of Harris County
Montrose Grace Place
National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Texas
Network of Behavioral Health Providers
New Hope Housing
Office of Council Member Stephen Costello
Office of County Commissioner Steve Radack
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Office of State Representative Jessica Farrar
One Voice Texas
Open Gate Homeless Youth Ministries
Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast Texas
Rainbow Pages Houston
Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church
Rice University
Safety Net Project
Salvation Army
SEARCH Homeless Services
Skills 4 Living
Southwest Key Programs
Stand Up for Kids
Strawbridge United Methodist Church
Texas Homeless Education Office (THEO)
The Center of Success and Independence
The Montrose Center/Hatch Youth
The Simmons Foundation
The Woman’s Home
Transgender Center
Transgender Education Network of Texas
University of Houston
University of Texas School of Public Health
University of Texas School of Nursing
Veterans Administration
West Side Homeless
Women’s Resource Center
YES Prep
Youth Ranch