National Network for Youth has been working in Pennsylvania for several years, supporting multiple communities in PA to center youth with lived expertise to advance local systemic change that prevents and ends youth homelessness.
State Policy Work: PA Legislative Advocacy Committee for Ending Youth & Young Adult Homelessness
NN4Y is proud to have partnered with SchoolHouse Connection and the American Bar Association Commission on Homelessness and Poverty to launch and facilitate the PA Legislative Advocacy Committee to End Youth & Young Adult Homelessness. Legislative action to affect systemic change is the heart and soul of this group of intersectional change-makers. The goal of this group is to support legislation the Pennsylvania legislature is currently considering and to advance policy recommendations designed by those with lived experience. Over half of the participants were those with lived experience and youth & young adult leaders.
Be on the lookout for more actions you can take to support youth and young adults experiencing homelessness in Pennsylvania! Here are the bills we’ll be working on:
- HB 127 – Drivers Licenses for Youth Experiencing Homelessness – Rep. Ryan Bizzarro (Erie County)
- This would waive fees for driver’s licenses and state IDs.
- HB 729 – Post-Secondary Help for Homeless Students – Rep. Mark Rozzi, (Berks County)
- This would provide priority housing, higher ed liaisons, fee waivers, other support for those experiencing homelessness.
- HB 730 – Homeless Minor’s Ability to Contract for Services – Rep. Rozzi
- Allows minors, age 17, who are experiencing homelessness access to shelter/housing, banking, vehicle insurance and other support
Lancaster County Collaborative to End Youth and Young Adult Homelessness
Earlier this year, NN4Y launched a Cross-System Collaborative to End Youth Homelessness in Lancaster County, PA. We are partnering with Lancaster County’s Homelessness Coalition, as they gear up to end youth homelessness. We co-hosted a large community convening at Clipper Magazine Stadium with representatives from various intersectional organizations representing: Housing, Child Welfare, Education, Health, Workforce Development and Emotional Well-being. There was a desire to streamline Runaway and Homeless Youth Services so that those seeking help wouldn’t need to go to multiple organizations. They also expressed the need for organizations to know what other organizations provide so that they could communicate and refer community members to places to meet their needs.
NN4Y is grateful to work with such a dedicated group of individuals, organizations, and systems who are passionate to end youth homelessness. We look forward to helping them establish a Youth Action Board, so that those with lived experience can be part of leading the change-making process.