On May 9, the House Appropriations Committee passed its FY2020 appropriations bill for Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.

The House bill includes $100 million in FY2020 funding for the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program. This represents a 7% increase over the FY2019 level; if enacted, it would represent a 30% increase in EHCY funding since FY2017.

The bill also includes $147 million for the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) programs, an increase of 15% over the FY2019 level.  If enacted, this would be the largest increase in RHYA funding in more than a decade.

In addition to increasing funding for the EHCY and RHYA programs, the House Committee added report language geared toward increasing college access and success for students experiencing homelessness or exiting foster care. The language urges the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services to conduct outreach and disseminate information on financial aid, TRIO and the Chafee program to these students. SHC will work to preserve and strengthen this language in the full House and Senate.

Other key programs supporting children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness also received significant funding increases. The chart below provides recent and proposed funding levels for selected programs.

Please note that neither the U.S. House of Representatives nor the U.S. Senate has taken up FY2020 funding for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which administers HUD’s homeless assistance grants.

Next Steps: The bill now moves to the House floor, where it may be attached to other FY2020 spending bills. The Senate will begin marking up their FY2020 spending bills in the coming months. Differences between the House and Senate bills will have to be reconciled before final legislation is considered.

Action Needed: Please contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative in support of the only two federal programs specifically targeted to supporting homeless children and youth – the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth program (EHCY) and the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) programs.

  1. Meet with your Members of Congress, or their staff, when they are back in the district during the upcoming district work periods. If you’d like advice on setting up a meeting, please contact us, and we’ll be happy to help.
  2. If a meeting isn’t possible, send a letter and getting as many community members as possible to sign it. We’ve created a sample letter in Microsoft Word that can be personalized with local or state information. Download the letter, edit it, and send one version to your U.S. Representative, and one version to both of your U.S. Senators.

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