Loebsack, Stivers Reintroduce Bill to Help Homeless Children and Youth

Written by Theresa Rose on January 28, 2015

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA) and Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) introduced the Homeless Children and Youth Act, which provides a more accurate system for the federal government to understand the problem of youth homelessness and help better serve this population. The Senate companion bill is sponsored by Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA).

“As someone who was raised in poverty by a single mother who struggled with mental illness, I know firsthand how community support can help make a difference in people’s lives” said Loebsack. “In order for our children to excel, especially those who are homeless or have nowhere to go, we must make it easier on them to access homeless assistance programs. The Homeless Children and Youth Act will help communities best provide for those who are most in need.”

“No child should ever be without a home, let alone be forced to navigate bureaucratic red tape just to prove that they are actually homeless,” said Stivers. “My bill would streamline the definition of ‘homeless’ to enable us to fully understand the problem, so that as a society we can get them the help they need.”

Currently, the Housing and Urban Development Department’s (HUD) definition of “homeless” is inconsistent with other federal agencies. This legislation would expand HUD’s definition of “homeless” to include all children and youth who are already verified as homeless by several other federal educational and social services programs.

The Homeless Children and Youth Act is a bi-partisan bill. It is supported by First Focus, the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, the National Parent Teacher Association, the National Network for Youth, the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty and the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare.