A picture of Representative John A. Yarmuth
John Y.
Democrat KY 3

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  • Fighting Youth Homelessness

    by Representative John A. Yarmuth

    Posted on 2015-01-27

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    YARMUTH asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.) Mr. YARMUTH. Mr. Speaker, this week, as we consider measures aimed at combating human trafficking, I remind my colleagues of the estimated 1.6 million runaway or homeless youths under the age of 18 in the United States.

    The Runaway and Homeless Youth Act was enacted in 1974 to help combat these growing numbers, and it is the sole Federal law targeting unaccompanied youths. Through this law, we are able to fund important local programs to serve our homeless youths. They provide shelter, counseling, family reunification, and aftercare, and they reduce the chance that young people will become victims of human trafficking.

    I am proud to have introduced and to have helped pass the reauthorization of this important funding in 2008, but that 5-year authorization expired in 2014, and now action must be taken. Congress has a responsibility to help ensure that homeless young people in America have a place to seek shelter and to find safety while laying a foundation for new opportunities.

    I call on my colleagues to join me in supporting a reauthorization of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act and help the hundreds of thousands of children who sleep on our streets every night.


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