News and Updates

 

Support Homeless and Foster Youth in Higher Education: Take Action to Support Four Federal Bills

Postsecondary attainment is increasingly necessary to move out of poverty and homelessness and live a healthy, secure life. However, homeless and foster youth face unique barriers to accessing and completing higher education, including lack of family and supportive adults, histories of neglect, abuse, trauma, mobility, and severe poverty. Four complementary bills will help homeless and foster youth transition successfully to and through higher education, and receive the support they need to complete their degrees and achieve economic independence.

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Virginians: Take Action to Help Homeless Youth Access Shelter and Services

The Virginia legislature is on the verge of providing critically needed access to shelter and related services for thousands of youth experiencing homelessness who have no parents or guardians in their lives to turn to for help. The state Senate will soon consider HB717, a bill designed to provide unaccompanied homeless youth under the age of 18 the right to consent to their own housing, including emergency shelter, and related services. Learn more about this life-saving legislation and what you can do to get it over the finish line!

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New Bipartisan Legislation Introduced to Remove Barriers to Postsecondary Education for Homeless and Foster Youth

On Thursday, December 9, the “Helping Foster and Homeless Youth Achieve Act” was introduced in the Senate by Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Rob Portman (R-OH). This bipartisan legislation removes barriers to higher education for youth experiencing homelessness and youth formerly in foster care by requiring federally-funded institutions of higher education waive application fees for foster and homeless youth.

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Senate Committee Proposes 38% Funding Increase for Homeless Education Program

On October 18, the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations released its fiscal year 2022 (FY2022) spending bills, which include a proposed 38% increase in funding for the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program. The Committee also proposed FY2022 increases for the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act program and other homelessness programs. Here's a breakdown.

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Urgent Action Needed: Support FY22 Funding for Homeless Children and Youth

U.S. Representatives John Yarmuth (D-KY), Danny Davis (D-IL), and Don Bacon (R-NE) are circulating a bipartisan “Dear Colleague letter” in support of FY2022 funding increases for the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program and the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA program). Take action to support FY22 funding for homeless children and youth.

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House Passes COVID-19 Relief Bill: Action Needed to Help Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness

On February 27, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its latest COVID-19 relief package, the American Rescue Plan Act, H.R. 1319. The bill now moves on to the Senate, where it is expected to be amended, then sent back to the House for approval. SchoolHouse Connection is pleased to see broad support for low-income families and young adults, and especially the extension of the Earned Income Tax Credit to unaccompanied homeless youth and foster youth at age 18. However, we remain deeply concerned by the lack of dedicated funding for children and youth experiencing homelessness.

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