Published On: March 15, 20223.7 min read732 words

Hill Day Follow-Up

Our 2022 Hill Day was nothing short of a success! In partnership with youth with lived experience and community-based service providers, we educated more than 50 Members of the U.S. Congress as part of our Hill Day. Collectively, we advocated for key policy changes needed to prevent and end youth homelessness.

  • Pass the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act (RHYTPA) to expand service and housing options for minors and young adults experiencing homelessness.
  • Pass the Homeless Children and Youth Act (HCYA)to align federal definitions of homelessness across programs and agencies
  • Fixing the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) “student rule” issue so young people can live in LIHTC funded affordable housing and attend school full time
  • Increase investment in key federal programs, including:
    • Runaway and Homeless Youth Act Program (HHS)
    • McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth Act Program (ED)
    • Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (HUD)

Federal Agency Roundtable Discussion

We hosted our ninth annual Federal Agency Roundtable Discussion (FARD) as part of the Summit. Partners from six federal agencies join us to answer questions raised by our youth and provider network and make commitments. Below is a summary of promises made by each federal agency:

Kimberly A. Waller, Associate Commissioner, Family and Youth Services Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

  • Committed to coordination and collaboration within HHS and with other federal agency partners. Specifically, looking to strategically and intentionally partner with HUD to implement the suggestions from the GAO report. 
  • Committed to also center equity in our work to prevent and end youth homelessness.
  • Committed to building on FYSB’s experience in partnering with youth with lived experience to center youth with lived experience in their strategic planning, external partnerships, and internal planning and work. 

Levi Bohanan, Special Assistant, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education (ED)

  • Met the ED’s commitment last year to equitably and quickly distribute the $800 million from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to identify and provide comprehensive services to students experiencing homelessness.
  • Committed to continuing to support the implementation of the $800 million ARP funds
  • Committed to issue briefs on identifying students experiencing homelessness, specifically focused on equity, LGBTQ+, rural communities, students of color, students with disabilities, pregnant and parenting youth, tribal youth, and English language learners.
  • Committed to also releasing other briefs focused on wrap-around services and innovation approaches there were implemented using the $800 million ARP funding. 

Jennifer Kemp, Director of Youth Services, U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)

  • Last year we committed to listen more to youth with lived experience- which we have done.
  • This year they are committed to addressing the mental health challenges of young people. DOL will work with SAMHSA and other HHS partners to meet the mental health needs of youth in their programs. 

Richard S. Cho, Senior Advisor to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

  • Continue to administer the Youth Homeless Demonstration Program (YHDP) as long as Congress funds it.
  • The YHDP Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) will be out very soon
  • Commitment to keep fighting for resources for all populations experiencing homelessness in America. 

Marcy Thompson, Director of Policy Initiatives, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH)

  • Committed to intentionally listening to young people with lived experience and community-based providers. 
  • Once the new strategic plan is released, they will focus on implementation. 

Dr. TeNeane P. Bradford, Associate Administrator, Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)

  • Committed to partnering with Levi at the Department of Education.
  • Can offer a similar sim network. It’s important that you focus on this area. Lastly, we will make sure that our TTA provider brings lived experiences and holds our states accountable to make sure they work with this particular mission under the program’s umbrella.

We remain optimistic for an in-person hill day in 2023 and look forward to continuing our work to ensure youth homelessness is at the forefront of our government’s policy agenda. 

​​Without intervention, youth and young adults experiencing or at risk of homelessness will continue to face severe short- and long-term economic, social, educational, physical, and mental health challenges. The unmet needs of youth experiencing homelessness are immense and require us to think boldly and do things differently.  Please consider becoming a donor to help us continue to hold policymakers accountable.