01.14.20

Committee Advances Bipartisan Proposal to Strengthen Federal Support for Homeless Youth

WASHINGTON – Today, the Committee on Education and Labor advanced the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act of 2019 (H.R. 5191)—a bipartisan proposal to reauthorize the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act of 1974 and empower states to strengthen and expand services for young people suffering from homelessness. 

The bipartisan legislation is led by three Democrats – House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (KY-03), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), and Rep. Jahana Hayes (CT-05) – and Republican Rep. Don Bacon (NE-02). It advanced through Committee (28-19) with one Republican in support.

Each year, more than 4 million teens and young adults experience homelessness, which can undermine the trajectory of their lives,” said Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott. “Without stable housing, young Americans cannot access the resources often needed to excel in school, avoid abuse and sexual exploitation, and live self-sufficient lives. The Runaway and Homeless Youth Act of 2019 revives the federal government’s commitment to ending youth homelessness by empowering states to strengthen and expand services for young people. It is unfortunate that most Committee Republicans withheld their support for this bipartisan bill because of the inclusion of nondiscrimination language, which is particularly important given the prevalence of youth homelessness among the LGBT community.”

In addition to reauthorizing funding for federal youth homelessness programs, the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act of 2019:

  • Puts a greater focus on trauma-informed services;
  • Prioritizes reaching vulnerable homeless youth living in the streets, including those who have experienced human trafficking; and,
  • Ensures that federal programs for homeless youth do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.

To read the fact sheet on the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act of 2019, click here.

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