Biggert Legislation’s Advancement Brings Homeless Kids Closer to Care, Federal Policy Closer to Reality
Ed Walz (Former Staff)Education Housing & Homelessness
Washington – A key congressional subcommittee voted today to pass legislation authored by Congresswoman Judy Biggert (R-IL) and endorsed by the First Focus Campaign for Children. The Homeless Children and Youth Act of 2011 (H.R. 32) would align the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development definition of “homeless” children with the definition used by the U.S. Department of Education. Enactment of this legislation would make all of America’s 1.6 million homeless children eligible for shelter and supportive services like health care. In response to its passage by the Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing, and Community Opportunity of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee, First Focus Campaign for Children President Bruce Lesley issued the following statement:
“When a child’s sleeping on a family friend’s couch and has no home to call her own, she’s just as homeless as a child living on the street. These kids shouldn’t be denied a safe place to sleep, a meal, and other basic needs because two government agencies can’t agree on definitions. Today’s vote brings us a step closer to cutting the red tape for kids and ensuring that the government recognizes the full magnitude of the problem facing homeless children. And an honest accounting of the problem can give Congress the information it needs to set the right funding levels.”
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The First Focus Campaign for Children is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization affiliated with First Focus, a bipartisan children’s advocacy organization. The Campaign for Children advocates directly for legislative change in Congress to ensure children and families are a priority in federal policy and budget decisions. For more information, visit www.ffcampaignforchildren.org.