Federal Advocacy & Policy Updates

A strong voice for effective and responsive federal policy.

Join Our Advocacy Network

SHC’s 2023 Legislative Priorities

FY24 Funding for the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children & Youth Program

The McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program is the only federal program that removes barriers to education for children and youth experiencing homelessness. At its current funding level, less than one in five — 19.5% — of local educational agencies receive EHCY subgrants. Adequate funding through the annual appropriations process is necessary to ensure that children and youth experiencing homelessness are identified and supported to enroll, attend, and succeed in school.

SHC is advocating for $800 million in the FY24 budget – less than 2% of the K12 federal education budget – to meet the educational needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness.

Remove Barriers to Higher Education for Homeless and Foster Youth

Youth experiencing homelessness and youth who have been in foster care face unique barriers to accessing and completing higher education. Lack of family and support, coupled with histories of neglect and abuse, create roadblocks on their path to and through postsecondary education. Yet higher education is their best opportunity for economic independence and healthier lives.

SHC is advocating for legislation to assist homeless and foster youth to access and succeed in postsecondary education. We anticipate the reintroduction of legislation from the previous Congress, including:

Homeless Children and Youth Act (HCYA)

Most children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness are shut out of homeless assistance because they do not meet the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) restrictive definition of homelessness. Despite being recognized as homeless by other federal agencies, and having comparable levels of vulnerability, these children, youth, and families are not eligible to even be assessed for HUD Homeless Assistance.

SHC urges Congress to pass the Homeless Children and Youth Act (HCYA), bipartisan legislation that reforms HUD Homeless Assistance programs by aligning federal definitions of homelessness, allowing children, youth, and families to be seen and served.

Federal advocacy impact

Federal Policy Updates

Public Comments

Public Statements/Letters