A Big Win: House Committee Passes the Homeless Children and Youth Act
On July 24, 2018, the House Financial Services Committee passed the bipartisan Homeless Children and Youth Act, H.R. 1511. The legislation, co-sponsored by Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Dave Loebsack (D-IA), may now be considered by the full House of Representatives. A bipartisan Senate companion bill, S. 611, is led by US Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Rob Portman (R-OH).
The Homeless Children and Youth Act (HCYA) would remove barriers to HUD homeless assistance for families and youth by 1) aligning HUD’s definition of homelessness with other federal agencies; 2) allowing HUD homeless assistance funds to be used to meet local needs; and 3) increasing visibility through data transparency.
HCYA reflects the actual experience of homelessness as lived by children and youth. Destiny Dickerson, SchoolHouse Connection Scholar and incoming first-year student at San Diego State University, explained HCYA’s importance in her recent piece, “Homelessness: They Just Don’t Get It”:
An op-ed published in The Hill also raised the visibility of this issue, noting that “one group of extremely vulnerable children has not yet made headlines, largely because their suffering occurs out of sight: the 1.3 million children and youth who experience homelessness each year.”
Following the Committee’s passage of HCYA, a number of advocacy groups released a statement hailing the vote: “Today’s vote was a big step towards ensuring that today’s homeless children and youth don’t become tomorrow’s homeless adults. We urge Congress to act quickly to pass this critical legislation.”
Take Action to Advance the Homeless Children & Youth Act
Take Action to Advance the Homeless Children and Youth Act!
Soon, Congress will break for August recess. This is a critical time to meet with Members while they are back home in your district and state.