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).

Watch the highlights from the hearing.

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”:

Read Destiny’s piece.

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.”

Read The Hill’s Op-Ed.

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.”

Read the press release.

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.

  1. Urge your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators to co-sponsor the legislation.
    • A list of current House co-sponsors may be found here, and a list of current Senate co-sponsors may be found here.
    • Sample letters may be found here.
  2. Add your organization’s name to the list of HCYA supporters here.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This