Thanks to your advocacy, programs for homeless children and youth received significant funding increases in the FY2018 budget.

Congress now turns in earnest to the FY2019 budget. We must continue efforts to ensure that these vital programs receive support.

A critical and time-sensitive opportunity for appropriations advocacy is a “Dear Colleague” letter. Dear Colleague letters are requests from some members of Congress to other members of Congress, asking them to sign on to show support for funding for certain programs.

Last month, a record number of U.S. Representatives signed on to a letter requesting support for the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program and the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) programs in the FY2019 budget.

Now, we have the opportunity to show support on the Senate side. U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) are circulating a bi-partisan Dear Colleague letter requesting support for EHCY and RHYA programs. They need our help before the April 13 deadline to get more U.S. Senators to sign their letter.

As of April 11, signers include: Heitkamp (D-ND), Collins (R-ME), Schatz (D-HI), Klobuchar (D-MN), Feinstein (D-CA), Reed (D-RI), Blumenthal (D-CT) , Whitehouse (C-RI), Van Hollen (D-MD), Markey (D-MA), Casey (D-PA), Cantwell (D-WA), Wyden (D-OR), Booker (D-NJ), Gillibrand (D-NY), Hirono (D-HI), Coons (D-DE), Baldwin (D-WI), Duckworth (D-WI), King (I-ME), Brown (D-OH), Sanders (I-VT), Peters (D-MI)

ACTION NEEDED: Please contact your U.S. Senators NOW to urge them to sign on to the Collins-Heitkamp letter in support of funding for homeless children and youth.

THE MESSAGE: “Please sign on to the Collins/Heitkamp Dear Colleague Letter in support of FY2019 Funding for Homeless Children and Youth.”

U.S. Senators may be reached through the U.S Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121. To find contact information for your U.S. Senators, visit

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