For youth and young adults under 25 who are facing housing instability in Minnesota and the people who care about them!

Are you sleeping on someone’s couch? Is someone sleeping on your couch? Are you trying to help a young person who is temporarily staying with an adult who cares about them?

If you’d like to help an informal hosting arrangement last longer and work better, then these resources are for you!

Finding safe and affordable housing is getting harder and harder. In fact, more than half of young adults now live with their parents or guardians, often due to the high cost of rent. But for some young people, staying at home is not an option. These young people will often “couch hop,” staying with people they already know. Many youth and hosts talk about these arrangements as “chosen family.” But that doesn’t mean that they don’t face challenges.

CloseKnit is making sure folks have the info they need to work through these challenges. Because creating community and helping one another is a beautiful thing!

Youth and hosts who are creating an informal hosting arrangement, consider:

Have the youth and host discussed their expectations about the hosting arrangement and written them down? 
Please see our Shared Expectations Agreement–Youth & Host.


Would a mediator be helpful?
Free mediation services can help a host and youth develop a shared understanding of what they would like their arrangement to look like, as well as work through any problems that come up.
Check out Community Mediation Minnesota.

Will the youth be renting from the host or staying as a guest? 
Please see our Renter or Guest? Legal Guide: Homeowner Hosts.
or our Renter or Guest? Legal Guide: Renter Hosts.

What third-party financial assistance can the youth and host access?
Special considerations:
If the youth is a minor, do their parents or guardians know where the youth is staying? 
Please see our Minors Legal Guide. 

Has the youth been involved with the legal system?
Please see our Legal System Involved Guide

Does the youth or host have a disability? 
Please see our Disability Services Legal Guide. 
If the host is a renter, also consider:
Does the landlord know? Would the host be comfortable approaching the property owner? 
Please see our Under the Radar or Above Board? Legal Guide.

Is the host part of a subsidized housing program? Does the host want to add the youth to their household through the public housing authority, or housing and redevelopment authority? 
Please see our Renter or Guest? Legal Guide: Renter Hosts
If the youth and host and host are working with a direct-service provider, also consider:
Can the direct-service provider help the host and youth create an agreement about shared expectations? 

Can the direct-service provider help the youth and host access funding or other resources to support the informal hosting arrangement?

If the host is a renter, could the direct-service provider help the renter and the youth approach the property owner, and serve as a resource for the property owner if issues arise? 
Please see our Under the Radar or Above Board? Legal Guide.

Thank You to all the youth, lawyers, direct service providers, and property owners who shared  their expertise with us. Our guides were enriched by all the thoughtful feedback! These guides are living documents that we will continue to update. For any comments or suggestions, please feel free to contact Helina Haile at cfj@closeknit.us

Thank you : Alison, Beau F, Beau R, Brenda, Craig, Cresston, Draken, Jack, Katrina, Kayla B, Kayla F, Larry, Lucianna, Mike, Sean, Trinity, Tyrone.

Special thanks to a Minnesota Housing’s Capacity Building grant for underwriting our policy guides!

DISCLAIMER: CloseKnit’s Legal Guides are NOT intended as legal advice. Legal guides are for informational purposes only.

Reminder: In the youth homelessness field, youth refers to unaccompanied youth and young adults under 25, sometimes with their own children.

For legal advice or assistance, please reference Free Legal Aid, Pro Bono, Law Clinics, and Law on the Internet.

Vital Document Legal Hotline for Youth provides resources and assistances in obtaining state ID cards, licenses, birth certificates, Social Security cards, and documents needed to get an ID/license. Hotline does not provide legal advice.