Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) are the latest U.S. Senators to co-sponsor of S. 611, the Homeless Children and Youth Act (HCYA). HCYA is bi-partisan legislation that reforms HUD Homeless Assistance to meet the needs of homeless children, youth, and families.  It allows some of the most vulnerable homeless families and youth – those staying with others because they have nowhere else to go, and those staying in motels – to be eligible for HUD homeless assistance by aligning eligibility criteria with those of other federal programs. HCYA also prohibits HUD from imposing national priorities on local communities for specific program models (like Rapid Rehousing) or specific populations (like chronically homeless adults). It would align HUD homeless assistance with child and youth serving systems, including early childhood programs, public schools, and institutions of higher education. Read more.

Current status: HCYA was introduced on March 13, 2017. As of December 2017, this bi-partisan bill has eight sponsors in the Senate, and eight sponsors in the House.

Action needed: The current goal for HCYA advocacy is to increase the number of co-sponsors in order to signal strong support to the committees of jurisdiction and Congressional leadership. Please urge your Members of Congress to sign as co-sponsors of /H.R. 1511/S. 611 here. We strongly urge local meetings with your Members to explain what is at stake for children, youth, and families, and why these reforms are necessary in your community. Contact information for U.S. Senators may be found here. Contact information for U.S. Representatives may be found here.

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