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

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Homeless Children and Youth Act 2017-03-12T17:13:33+00:00

The Homeless Children and Youth Act (H.R. 576/S. 256) was introduced on January 26, 2015 in the Senate by Senator Portman (R-OH) and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and in the House by Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Congressman Loebsack (D-I). The Homeless Children and Youth Act (HCYA) would make it easier for homeless children, youth, and families to receive homeless assistance, no matter where they happen to be staying.

What HCYA Does

  • Amends HUD’s definition of homelessness to include children and youth who are verified as homeless through HUD’s homeless assistance programs and through other federal programs such as Runaway and Homeless Youth Act programs, Violence Against Women programs, and public school district homeless liaisons.
  • Eliminates complex documentation requirements for “proving” homelessness, such as evidence of multiple moves, or the length of time spent without housing. Under the Homeless Children and Youth Act (HCYA), a HUD homeless service provider could make a simple determination that a family or youth in a motel, or staying temporarily with others, is eligible, or accept a referral from another federal program.
  • Amends federal homeless data collection and reporting requirements to ensure that data currently collected on all homeless children, youth, and families is made available to the public, providing an accurate and honest accounting of homelessness in America.
  • Prohibits HUD from overriding local communities. Local service providers are the best equipped to evaluate which homeless populations have the greatest unmet needs.

Current Status

Over 400 organizations support the Homeless Children and Youth Act (H.R. 576/S. 256), including 58 national organizations.  Join the movement!

Endorsing Organizations

NN4Y proudly supports the Homeless Children and Youth Act (H.R. 576/S. 256).

NN4Y Statement on HCYA

On April 29, 2015, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Transportation, Housing & Urban Development Subcommittee held a hearing on HUD’s Efforts to Prevent & End Youth Homelessness.

Watch the Hearing
read the testimony of the witnesses

Action Needed

  • Send a email to your members of congress instantly by putting in your contact information into the form at right. Tell your U.S. Senator and U.S. Representatives that all homeless children and youth need help—no matter where they happen to be staying!
  • Call your members of congress and tell them to cosponsor the Homeless Children and Youth Act (HCYA) to house homeless youth. The US Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121 can connect you to your federal representatives.
  • Sign your organization onto a national sign-on letter in support of HCYA.
  • Share this Action Alert with your network:

ACTION ALERT: Tell US Congress that a couch is not a home: tinyurl.com/HCYA2015  #hcya #EndYouthHomelesness

ACTION ALERT: Homeless youth need housing! Tell US Congress a couch is not a home: tinyurl.com/HCYA2015  #hcya #EndYouthHomelesness

Send an Email to Congress!

Enter your zip code HERE to send a message to your Senators and Representative urging them to become a co-sponsor of the Homeless Children and Youth Act.

Please be sure to edit the sample letter on the page to explain why YOU support this bill, including any local, or state information—especially examples of families or youth with whom you have worked who would benefit from this legislation. If you are writing on behalf of an agency, please describe what your program or agency does. The more you personalize the letter, the better.

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