The Homeless Children and Youth Act (HCYA, H.R.5221) was reintroduced by U.S. Representatives Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ-11,) Bill Posey (R-FL-08), Delia Ramirez (D-IL-03), and Don Bacon (R-NE-02), and co-sponsored by Pennsylvanians Evans (Phila), Boyle (Phila), Scanlon (Delaware), Dean (Montgomery), and Fitzpatrick (Bucks).
A positive step forward for families experiencing homelessness would be a unification of the federal definition of who is homeless and who is not. The Homeless Children and Youth Act would unify the definition, qualifying thousands of families and children for housing supports.
Many children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness are shut out of homeless assistance because they do not meet the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, (HUD) restrictive definition of homelessness.
In Philadelphia, 88% of all homeless children ages birth to 5 do not have families in a homeless housing program, but living somewhere else due to economic conditions.
Throughout Pennsylvania, 66% of all students facing homelessness are living doubled up and not in a homeless housing program.
The U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and others do not share HUD’s definition and provides are more inclusive definition. As a result, they are not eligible to be assessed for and receive HUD homeless assistance. The HCYA fixes this problem by aligning federal definitions of homelessness for children and youth, streamlining assistance, leveraging resources, and bringing greater visibility to the reality of family and youth homelessness.
1. Thank Philadelphia Congressional members Dwight Evans and Brendan Boyle for co-sponsoring HR 5221. Contact by clicking these links:
Rep. Dwight Evans
Rep. Brendan Boyle
2. Add your organization’s name to the list of organizational endorsers to this form. Please share widely with your community partners!
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