Take Action to Support Education and Services for Homeless Children and Youth.

Federal Funding Advocacy

SHC strongly supports increased funding for the two federal programs specifically targeted to support children and youth experiencing homelessness: the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth program (EHCY) and the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) programs. The EHCY program removes barriers to the enrollment, attendance, and success of homeless children and youth in school. Without this specific, targeted assistance, homeless children and youth are unlikely to benefit from any investment in education, and are at much higher risk of experiencing homelessness as adults. The RHYA program serves homeless youth by meeting their immediate needs, providing long-term residential services, and conducting prevention and outreach efforts to move youth out of homelessness. Without emergency and transitional housing and crisis intervention, homeless youth are at even greater risk for trafficking and other life-threatening conditions.

Current Status

The President released his FY2021 budget proposal on February 10. While the President’s proposal is merely a proposal, it consolidates 29 federal education programs — including the Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program — into a block grant. States would not be required to use any of the block grant funding to support the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness. Moreover, a block grant potentially undermines the legal protections provided by the McKinney-Vento Act, including the requirements to designate school district homeless liaisons, and to ensure immediate identification, enrollment, school stability, transportation, and dispute resolution.. The two federal programs specifically targeted to support children and youth experiencing homelessness – the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program and the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) program – provide essential services, but are dramatically underfunded. Please use the form below to send a letter to your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative to urge them to support the EHCY and RHYA programs in the fiscal year 2021.

Resources and Facts

  • Download a one-pager on FY2021 funding needs for the EHCY program
  • Download a chart showing FY2017-2020 funding for selected education, housing, and homelessness programs
  • Download a chart showing numbers of homeless children and youth identified by public schools from 2010-2016

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