On Sunday April 30th, Congress reached an agreement on the FY17 omnibus budget bill including funding for key housing and runaway and homeless youth programs providing funding for these key programs through September 30, 2017.
Here are 5 True Facts on what the FY17 federal budget means for youth experiencing homelessness:
1. Up to $43 million, a $10 million increase, will be invested in long-term solutions to ending youth homelessness.
- The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development’s Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project is designed to reduce the number of youth experiencing homelessness. With a focus on identifying, evaluating, and culling together best practices from different communities across the country, the demonstration will serve as a blueprint for communities, service providers, advocates, and policymakers alike.
- In total, up to 11 communities will receive funding, with five of them being rural.
2. The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) will remain open.
- USICH received $3.6 million in funding and its sunset date of October 1, 2017 has been extended to October 1, 2018. USICH is the glue that holds America’s response to homelessness together, coordinating with 19 federal agencies to proactively work towards preventing and ending homelessness.
3. Funding for homeless assistance programs will increase to $2.383 billion from $2.25 billion in FY16, an overall $133 million increase.
- This increase in funding will provide resources for Continuums of Care, which support proven interventions and community solutions towards preventing and ending homelessness, including youth.
4. Emergency resources and solutions for runaway and homeless youth will receive flat funding.
- Runaway and Homeless Youth programs administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, Family & Youth Services Bureau will receive $119 million for basic centers, street outreach, and transitional living programs.
5. Funding for McKinney-Vento’s Education for Homeless Children & Youth (EHCY) will increase by $7 million.
- Local education agencies depend on EHCY funds to identify and provide transportation assistance for youth experiencing homelessness.
- Total EHCY funding for FY17 administered by the U.S. Department of Education is $77 million.
The True Colors Fund applauds this bipartisan agreement to protect youth experiencing homelessness.
“The True Colors Fund commends Congress, in particular the Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittees on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies, on a bipartisan agreement that not only increases crucial funding for those who are most vulnerable, but also makes it possible for USICH to keep its doors open,” said Gregory Lewis, Executive Director of the True Colors Fund. “We will remain committed to working with Congress on FY18 funding to ensure that we’re continually moving towards preventing and ending youth homelessness.”
Here’s what you can do to help:
The FY17 budget ensures that vital services for youth experiencing homelessness will remain open and available. Now it’s up to us to make sure these services are safe and accessible for all youth. That’s why we developed the True Inclusion Toolbox – a resource that guides youth homelessness service providers through the process of creating safe and inclusive spaces for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Each toolbox includes a True Inclusion manual along with training materials, safe space signage, all gender restroom signs, pronoun buttons, suggested policies and procedures, and more!
Our goal is to send these Toolboxes – free of charge – to 500 service providers across the country. But we can’t do it without your help. Click here to support this important work.