Question

Were you aware that 2/3 of adults experiencing homelessness have not received a high school diploma or completed a GED?

FY2016 Funding for Homeless Children and Youth Programs

Friday, December 18, 2015

Background: On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed into law an omnibus spending bill for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 (H.R. 2029).

The summary below reviews the portions of the omnibus legislation that are most relevant to children and youth experiencing homelessness.

SUMMARY OF FY 2016 OMNIBUS SPENDING LEGISLATION FOR PROGRAMS SERVING CHILDREN AND YOUTH EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

  • The Runaway and Homeless Youth Act is funded at $119 million – an increase of $4.98 million (or 4%) from FY 2015. This is the first time funding levels have risen since 2010.

U.S. Department of Education

  • The McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth Act program is funded at $70 million – an increase of $5 million (or 7%) from FY 2015. This is the first time funding levels have risen since FY 2009. (The authorized funding level for the EHCY program was increased to $85 million by the recently enacted Every Student Succeeds Act, begining in FY 2017.)
  • Title I Grants to School Districts are funded at $14.9 billion, a $500 million increase above FY 2015. The omnibus continues language from previous appropriations bills allowing Title I funds to be used to provide children and youth experiencing homelessness with services not ordinarily provided to other students under Title I. This includes supporting the liaison and transportation to the school of origin for children and youth experiencing homelessness. (These provisions, among others, were codified in the Title I statute by the Every Student Succeeds Act.)

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

  • $2.25 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants – an increase of $115 million from FY 2015.

Of these funds:

  • Not less than $1.91 billion is for the Continuum of Care and rural housing stability assistance programs.
  • Up to $33 million is to implement projects that demonstrate how a comprehensive approach can dramatically reduce youth homelessness. These projects would involve youth ages 24 and under in up to 10 communities, including at least four rural communities. They are subject to renewal under the Continuum of Care program according to the same terms as other renewal applicants.
  • Up to $5 million is to provide technical assistance on youth homelessness and the collection, analysis and reporting of data and performance measures under the comprehensive approaches to serve youth experiencing homelessness.

In addition:

  • Youth ages 24 and under seeking assistance under the Continuum of Care program shall not be required to provide third party documentation to establish their eligibility or to receive services.
  • Unaccompanied youth ages 24 and under, or families headed by youth ages 24 and under, who are living in unsafe situations may be served by youth service providers that receive U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Homeless Assistance grants.
  •  HUD is authorized to participate in the existing Performance Partnership Pilot (P3) with the Departments of Education, Labor, Health and Human Services and Justice, to develop innovative, cost-effective and outcome-based strategies aimed at disconnected youth.

Additional report language includes the following provisions:

  • $2 million for a prevalence study on runaway and homeless youth, authorized under section 345 of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act.
  • The Secretary of HUD is directed to ensure that incentives created through the continuum of care application process fairly balance priorities for different populations, including youth, families, veterans and people experiencing chronic homelessness.

The FY 2016 omnibus legislation reflects the hard work and passion of countless advocates, providers, and educators. It demonstrates greater recognition by Congress of the unique challenges and needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness. NN4Y and NAEHCY are grateful to everyone who contacted or met with lawmakers in support of additional funding, and who provided us with data, information or local experiences. Thanks to you, communities will be equipped with more resources to address child and youth homelessness in America.

While important, this spending legislation represents only a partial victory. Moving forward, we must work to ensure that funding for the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act program and Education for Homeless Children and Youth program continues to increase each year to meet the real and urgent needs of youth and families in our communities. Additionally, we must step outside the appropriations process to resolve barriers created by the inappropriate definitions and skewed priorities that remain codified in law in the HEARTH Act.

Please continue to stay involved with NN4Y and NAEHCY. Together, we have the strength to drive an effective advocacy agenda on behalf of children and youth experiencing homelessness.

DOWNLOAD:
To download this information as a PDF document, click here.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Please contact Darla Bardine at NN4Y at darla.bardine@nn4youth.org or Barbara Duffield at NAEHCY at bduffield@naehcy.org.

 

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