National Runaway Switchboard

The Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) serves runaway and homeless youth by funding the following grant programs: the Basic Center Program, the Transitional Living Program, the Maternity Group Home Program, the Street Outreach Program, and the National Runaway Switchboard.  Ninety percent of RHYA funding goes to programs providing housing, emergency shelter, and homelessness prevention projects and the remaining 10 percent funds supportive service providers. 

View the program website

NRS is a national communications system currently authorized under the Runaway, Homeless, and Missing Children Protection Act that assists youth who have been forced from home, run away or are considering running away, and their families.  With its database of more than 16,000 resources, NRS links youth and families across the country to shelters, counseling, medical assistance, and other vital services.  Striving to be a one-stop resource for youth in crisis, NRS utilizes a 24 hour a day toll free hotline (1-800-RUNAWAY) to provide youth and families with crisis intervention, information and referrals, conference calls or message relays between youth and their parents/guardians or other community service organizations.  Other program elements include: education and outreach, prevention, and the Home Free program in partnership with Greyhound Lines, Inc.

Target Audience: 

Youth in crisis, who are thinking of leaving or have left home either willingly or forcibly and are experiencing chronic or intermittent homelessness, and their families.

Eligible Applicants:

Local and national organizations entering into a cooperative agreement with NRS that agree to provide services to youth and families in crisis who are referred to them by NRS and to maintain regular communication and/or reporting of contacts to NRS.

Funding Mechanism:

This community support system is funded through an Administration for Children and Families Federal Youth Services Bureau appropriation.