State Policy and Youth Homelessness: 2023 Q2 Update
From coast to coast, the first few months of 2023 were full of state legislative activity related to youth homelessness. Lawmakers in a number of state capitols already have passed bills improving access to the critical support and resources that youth and young adults experiencing homelessness need for better life outcomes. In other states, legislation was introduced and is moving forward. Below is a summary of state policy highlights to date in the second quarter of 2023. Taken together with state legislative activity in the first quarter of 2023, at least 15 states are moving bills forward on youth homelessness.
Some highlights include:
- In Arkansas, Kentucky, and North Dakota, laws have been passed to waive fees for vital documents such as birth certificates, driver’s licenses, and state IDs for unaccompanied homeless youth and foster care youth.
- Oregon has approved an appropriations bill to help children and their families who are at risk of becoming homeless better access shelter, care, and support.
- In New York, bills have been introduced to designate liaison officers on campuses to assist students experiencing homelessness, create systems to improve access to critical services and resources, and provide a pilot program to fund solutions that increase enrollment, attendance, and success in college for students experiencing homelessness.
- Oklahoma has passed a bill to adopt a standard form to be used by all school districts to identify students who are homeless and to compile a report on homeless students.
- Washington state increased funding for the Homeless Student Stability Program to $9 million, an increase of over $4 million.
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