Question

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

Historic Opportunity to Increase Funding for Homeless Children and Youth Programs

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

This year, Congress has fewer work days because of the elections in November. Therefore, the entire appropriations process is likely to take place much earlier than in previous years, with key decisions occurring in June.

SPECIFIC FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR HOMELESS CHILDREN AND YOUTH

The McKinney-Vento Act's Education for Homeless Children and Youth program (EHCY) and the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act program (RHYA) are the only two federal programs dedicated specifically to homeless children and youth.

EHCY: The recently enacted Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) increased the authorized funding level (maximum funding level) for the EHCY program to $85 million, a 21 percent increase over the previous authorized level. ESSA also made numerous amendments to the EHCY program, including new requirements for appropriate capacity for state and local personnel, better identification of homeless children and youth, enhanced school stability, and special protections for preschool children and unaccompanied homeless youth.

In order to respond to the increase in homelessness, and fulfill the mandates of the new ESSA amendments, the full appropriation of $85 million in FY2017 is necessary.  However, this increase will happen only if lawmakers hear from constituents about the urgent need to fully fund the EHCY program this year.

RHYA:  Congress determined the RHYA programs to need $165 million in the 2008 authorization.  RHYA should be funded at this level for FY 2017. RHYA programs meet immediate needs, provide long-term residential services, and conduct prevention and outreach efforts to move youth out of homelessness. These programs serve homeless, trafficked, and pregnant and parenting youth through outreach, emergency shelter, family reunification work when safe, connection to education, employment and health care, transitional housing, and independent housing options.

Yet each year, RHYA programs are forced to turn away thousands of youth due to lack of available beds, leaving them to fend for themselves with no safe and stable housing, and increasing their risk of predation and harm.

ACTION NEEDED

1. Please act today to urge your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative to support $85 million for the EHCY program and $165 million for the RHYA program in the FY2017 funding legislation:

  • A sample letter in Microsoft Word may be downloaded here.
  • Contact information for U.S. Senators may be found here.
  • Contact information for U.S. Representatives may be found here.

Please be sure to edit the sample letter on the page to explain why YOU support these funding increases, including any local, or state information – especially examples of children and youth who benefit from these programs. If you are writing on behalf of an agency, please describe what your program or agency does. The more you personalize the letter, the better!

2. Please sign on your organization to this national letter urging the U.S. Congress to make these greater investments in the EHCY and RHYA programs. The deadline for sign-ons is February 19, 2016. 


FOR MORE INFORMATION

For more information, please contact us: info@naehcy.org or (866) 862-2562

NAEHCY 2017 Conference
Chicago, IL
October 28-31, 2017
The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015
Homeless Students in ESEA Reauthorization
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