Action Center

RHYA Reauthorization

Runaway and Homeless Youth Act Reauthorization

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Homeless Children and Youth Act: A Couch is Not a Home

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FY20 Federal Appropriations Advocacy

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The Power of Advocacy

You’re powerful — because you live and vote in your legislator’s district. And it’s the job of your lawmakers to represent you.

But they can’t effectively represent your interests unless you communicate with them around the issues you care about.

Your elected representatives pay close attention to grassroots points of view expressed by their constituents, and take those views into account when the final votes are cast. That’s why YOU, as an informed and active constituent, can play the most important role of all in shaping legislation.

Choose to make a difference by becoming an active participant with others in policymaking.

Public Policy Platform

We are calling on federal policymakers and agency staff to support the creation of a comprehensive, collaborative, system-based approach to addressing youth and young adult (YYA) homelessness that is youth-centric and flexible. This support is needed in the form of updated laws, policies and priorities.

YYA must have the widest possible door to entry of this system so that whenever and wherever they find themselves, young people can access a safe and secure place to stay and services to help them undergo a safe and healthy transition to adulthood. Our recommendations target the critical need for the federal government to:

  1. Adopt a shared understanding of YYA homelessness so that: data collected by different sources will paint a consistent and accurate picture of the need in our communities and ensure that all young people are able to access the services and housing they need;
  2. Increase investment in YYA-appropriate housing and services so that the gap between need and vital services is closed;
  3. Examine and improve the child welfare and juvenile justice systems so they stop failing to help exiting youth transition with appropriate services and supports, especially stable housing;
  4. Strengthen and support the work of federal agencies to facilitate the effective sharing of resources and remove needless bureaucratic barriers that prevent YYA from receiving the help they need;
  5. Create mechanisms for flexibility in federal programs so that communities can develop YYA accessible and appropriate housing and services that meet the needs in their community; and
  6. Adopt a shared vision of core outcomes to measure success across federal programs that are developmentally appropriate.

Read our full policy brief here.