Why This Matters
RHYA & EHCY are the ONLY Federal Laws Targeted to Unaccompanied Youth. Congress first enacted the RHYA in 1974 and has regularly reauthorized it to ensure a basic level of support for unaccompanied youth regardless of their state of origin or residence. Few states have established funding streams targeted to unaccompanied youth. Only 25% of RHYA applicants receive funding due to the limited resources available. Only 22% of school districts receive EHCY subgrants.
RHYA Projects are Facing Overwhelming Unmet Need. The basic living needs of too many of our nation’s homeless youth are not being met. RHYA-funded Basic Center Programs have turned away 14,855 youth since FY 2010 due to a lack of a bed, and RHYA-funded Transitional Living Programs have turned away 28,488 youth since FY 2010 due to a lack of a bed.
RHYA Projects are Cost Effective Alternatives to Custodial Care and Arrest. The average cost per year of juvenile incarceration is $87,600 per year ($240 per day) whole community-based alternatives cost $15,000 to $30,000 per year ($41 to $82 per day).
RHYA Projects Use Federal Funds to Leverage Community Resources. RHYA projects succeed due to partnerships created among families, schools, community-based organizations, faith communities, law enforcement agencies, businesses, and volunteers.
The capacity of communities to serve homeless youth is only limited by the resources available, not by the expertise of how to serve our homeless youth well. Only 25% of applicants to receive RHYA grant money receive a grant because the resources are so limited. Grant applications scoring 100, 99, 98, 97 . . . out of 100 are being denied funding because there is not enough resources for communities to serve homeless youth.