Federal Policy

Bipartisan Legislation to Help Homeless Children and Youth Reintroduced

On August 15, 2023, the Homeless Children and Youth Act (H.R.5221) was reintroduced by U.S. Representatives Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ-11,) Bill Posey (R-FL-08), Delia Ramirez (D-IL-03), and Don Bacon (R-NE-02).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. 

While these youth and families are considered homeless by some federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, they are not considered homeless by HUD. As a result, they are not eligible to be assessed for and receive HUD homeless assistance. Yet the children and youth who are excluded from HUD’s definition of homelessness are extremely vulnerable, and are at great risk of continuing to experience homelessness as adults.

The Homeless Children and Youth Act (HCYA) fixes this problem by aligning federal definitions of homelessness for children and youth, streamlining assistance, leveraging resources, and bringing greater visibility to the reality of family and youth homelessness.

Take Action Now!

  1. Urge Your U.S. Representative to Sign On as a Co-Sponsor of H.R.5221
    • Arrange to meet virtually or in person with your U.S. Representative or their staff to educate them about the harms of hidden homelessness and urge them to sign on to HCYA. Invite your community partners to join you! You can find contact information for your U.S. Representative here. If you’d like assistance setting up meetings with your elected officials, please email Rodd Monts, SHC’s Director of State Policy.
    • Use these data profiles to find out how many children and youth are excluded from HUD homeless assistance in your Congressional district because they are staying with others or in motels in your Congressional district.
    • If you don’t have time to meet, use this editable action form to send a personalized letter to your US Representative urging them to cosponsor the Homeless Children and Youth Act.
  2. Use this form to add your organization’s name to the list of organizational endorsers. Please share widely with your community partners!

Facts about the Homeless Children & Youth Act