The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD’s) current definition of homelessness excludes a vast majority children and youth who are actually homeless: those staying in motels, or temporarily with others because they have nowhere else to go. Nearly 1.3 million homeless students were identified by public schools last year. These children and youth face real harm, including negative emotional, educational, and health outcomes. They are at high risk of physical and sexual abuse and trafficking.
The Homeless Children and Youth Act would cut the red tape and return decision-making to local communities. It would amend HUD’s definition of homelessness to include children and youth who are verified as homeless through other government programs like public schools. The HCYA contains no new mandates, and costs nothing. Whether newly eligible families and youth receive services would depend on communities’ assessments of their own needs.
Unfortunately, kids don’t vote and don’t have Political Action Committees or Super PACs, so they are counting on all of us to make their voices heard and have their health care protected.
Read more. Learn why homeless children and youth are counting on the Homeless Children and Youth Act.
Please join the First Focus Campaign for Children in urging Congress to support the Homeless Children and Youth Act. Click here to send your letter.
You can also help by joining or donating to First Focus Campaign for Children to keeping up the pressure on Capitol Hill so that the health and well-being of children are no longer treated as an afterthought in the halls of Congress.