S. 256 and H.R. 576 would expand the HUD definition of “homelessness” to include unaccompanied children and youth who are defined as being homeless under other federal statutes such as the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act or the Higher Education Act.
The proposed legislation would make it easier to count #homelessyouth and children through the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) mandated point in time count of the homeless and also end homelessness for this population by:
Counting someone as homeless if another federal agency such as the U.S. Dept. of Education does,
Making it easier for homeless youth to prove that they are at risk of being homeless, and
Allowing local communities to set their own priority populations in their work to end homelessness.
“At Covenant House … we need a realistic picture of who needs our help. In several of the cities we serve, we at times have not had enough beds for the young people arriving at our doors, and we have had to create waiting lists. The needs young people bring with them are more acute than in years past, particularly in terms of unemployment and educational deficits.
By passing the Homeless Children and Youth Act, Congress can ensure that we all can work more effectively to end youth homelessness, and protect young people from the dangers — violence, traffickers, the cold, depression, suicide — they face without a permanent home.”