Sands Confidential

The 2020 Southern Nevada Youth Homelessness Summit Builds on Summit 2019 Through a 2020 Lens

The fourth annual Southern Nevada Youth Homelessness Summit, presented by Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth (NPHY) and Sands Cares, kicks off as an all-virtual event on Friday, November 13.

Though Summit 2020 will look markedly different than Summits past, with an all-virtual, panel discussion format spanning two consecutive Fridays on November 13 and November 20, the overarching mission remains the same: ending youth homelessness in Southern Nevada, where every night, more than 1,000 youth live without a permanent home. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

At Summit 2019, intensive tracks explored solutions to youth homelessness, related to increasing access to education, sharing data among service providers and coordinating rapid rehousing strategies. But the indisputable highlight of the Summit was hearing from youth with lived experience themselves.

Members of Young Adults in Charge (YAC), a group of youth with lived experience who dedicate themselves to advocate for the cause of ending youth homelessness, shared their experiences with homelessness by telling their personal experiences, and advocated for change during working groups, culminating in a keynote performance of Spotlight, an original stage drama depicting experiences of youth who fall into homelessness.

Spotlight personalized the experience of homelessness in a way that only reports of lived experience possibly could. And as Summit 2020 prepares to tackle the pressing issues of how both the COVID-19 pandemic and systemic racism have exacerbated the issue of youth homelessness, Spotlight can serve as a reminder of what is truly at stake in the fight against youth homelessness.

Summit 2020 begins Friday, November 13 with a panel discussion on COVID-19 and youth homelessness, and continues Friday, November 20, when experts and youth with lived experience will discuss the intersection of youth homelessness and systemic racism. Learn more about Summit 2020 and register by visiting nphy.org.