CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – This week, U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Susan Collins (R-ME) led 19 Senators in introducing their bipartisan resolution to recognize November 2020 as National Homeless Children and Youth Awareness Month. The Senators also urged their colleagues to support the <em><a href=”https://www.manchin.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/manchin-bill-to-help-families-children-and-youth-experiencing-homelessness-amid-covid-19-pandemic”>Emergency Family Stabilization Act</a></em> which was introduced in June.
“Across the United States, over 1.5 million children and youth are currently experiencing homelessness and there are over 10,000 homeless youth in West Virginia alone. It’s simply unacceptable. Our children deserve to feel safe with a bed to sleep in night after night and food to fill their bellies. I am proud to introduce this bipartisan resolution to help raise awareness about this growing issue and the difficulties so many of our children face every day,” <strong>said Senator Manchin.</strong> “This issue isn’t going away by itself and the COVID-19 pandemic is making it worse. I urge my colleagues to support the bipartisan, bicameral <em>Emergency Family Stabilization Act </em>which will create new, dedicated funding to assist communities that are working with children and youth experiencing homelessness. We have to work together to implement solutions that help our homeless children and youth in need.”
“School is challenging enough without students having to worry about where they will sleep each night. Without the proper support, these young people are at risk of dropping out of school and are in greater danger of exploitation. We must make sure our nation’s homeless youth have the same opportunity to succeed as other youth,” <strong>said Senator Collins.</strong> “This bipartisan resolution recognizes the hard work being done by businesses, organizations, schools, and volunteers to prevent youth homelessness.”
<strong><u>To view the resolution, click </u></strong><a href=”https://www.manchin.senate.gov/download/mur20431″><strong>here</strong></a><strong><u>.</u></strong>
The Senators’ resolution is also cosponsored by Senators Cantwell (D-WA), Murkowski (R-AK), Hirono (D-HI), Hassan (D-NH), Feinstein (D-CA), Coons (D-DE), Blumenthal (D-CT), Peters (D-MI), Reed (D-RI), Van Hollen (D-MD), Wyden (D-OR), Smith (D-MN), Merkley (D-OR), Klobuchar (D-MN), Sinema (D-AZ), Booker (D-NJ), and Brown (D-OH).
The <em>Emergency Family Stabilization Act </em>would create a new emergency funding stream overseen by the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide flexible funding for community-based organizations to meet the unique needs of children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness. Specifically, the bill aims to provide emergency funding to underserved populations and areas, including in rural communities, who continue to see long-term repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The <em>Emergency Family Stabilization Act</em> is cosponsored by Senators Manchin (D-WV), Murkowski (R-AK), Collins (R-ME), Sinema (D-AZ), and Sullivan (R-AK).
<strong><u>Fact sheet on the <em>Emergency Family Stabilization Act</em> can be found </u></strong><a href=”https://www.manchin.senate.gov/download/060920_-efsa_-fact-sheet”><strong>here</strong></a><strong><u>.</u></strong>
<strong><u>Video of Senator Manchin discussing the importance of addressing children and youth homelessness can be found <a href=”https://youtu.be/sFK8cXvkbtg”>here</a>.</u></strong>
<strong><u>Timeline of Senator Manchin’s work to address children and youth homelessness can be found </u></strong><a href=”https://www.manchin.senate.gov/download/homelessness-timeline”><strong>here</strong></a><strong><u>.</u></strong>
The following organizations have supported the resolution: SchoolHouse Connection, National Network 4 Youth, First Focus Campaign for Children, Covenant House, National Alliance to End Homelessness, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Education Association, National Head Start Association, National PTA, Opportunity Starts at Home Campaign, True Colors United and ZERO TO THREE.