Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) led 14 Senators in introducing a bipartisan resolution to designate November 2022 as National Homeless Children and Youth Awareness Month to bring attention to the children and youth experiencing homelessness across the country. In the United States, more than 1.1 million students experienced homelessness during the 2020-2021 school year, including more than 2,100 students in Maine.
“Growing up is challenging enough without young people having to worry about where they will sleep each night. Without the proper support, these children 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 their peers,” said Senator Collins, Ranking Member of the Housing Appropriations Subcommittee. “Our bipartisan resolution will help raise awareness about this critical issue and recognize the hard work being done by businesses, organizations, schools, and volunteers to prevent youth homelessness.”
“Every child deserves to have a roof over their head and a warm, safe place to sleep at night. Unfortunately, that is not the case for more than 9,500 youth and children in West Virginia and more than 1,100,000 children across the country,” said Senator Manchin. “Ending homelessness among children and youth continues to be one of my top priorities, and it is more important than ever that we work together to address this heartbreaking issue. I’m proud to lead my bipartisan colleagues in designating November 2022 as National Homeless Children and Youth Awareness Month to bring attention to this critical issue, and I will continue fighting to address homelessness among children and youth in the Mountain State.”
“Children and youth who experience homelessness are among the most vulnerable in our nation, suffering disproportionate negative impacts on their health, development, and education. Yet they remain largely invisible in most communities. Lack of awareness is the single biggest barrier to identifying these children and youth, and providing support to break the cycle of homelessness. We applaud this resolution and hope it helps to galvanize action across sectors,” said Barbara Duffield, Executive Director, SchoolHouse Connection.
"NN4Y applauds this resolution recognizing National Homeless Children and Youth Awareness Month. Youth and child homelessness is a critical issue that requires a new national strategy centered around the needs of our youngest citizens. A multi-system coordinated approach will put the US on the right path to prevent and end child and youth homelessness," said Darla Bardine, Executive Director, National Network for Youth.
Senators Collins and Manchin were joined by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Jack Reed (D-RI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Gary Peters (D-MI) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
This resolution is supported by SchoolHouse Connection, the First Focus Campaign for Children, National Network for Youth, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Alliance to End Homelessness and the National Association of School Psychologists.
The text of the resolution is available here.